To improve your shopping experience today and in the future, this site uses cookies.
I Accept Cookies
Close results

Popular searches for:

Popular content for:

Popular Products scroll for more

See all results     Previous Next  
All Bikes Hand Checked & Assembled Before Shipping Free tracked delivery 90 day Returns 30-Day Test Ride Option Customer Care: 0330 555 0080 0% Finance

Free, tracked UK delivery on orders over £10

We offer free, tracked UK delivery on orders over £10, with delivery starting from £1.99 for orders below this value. We also have a selection of premium shipping options available including timed slots, Saturday delivery and DPD Pick-up

All of our bicycles are fully built by our experienced and certified mechanics prior to delivery; all you will need to do is turn the handlebars and fit some pedals.

Bicycles are shipped from a different warehouse to other items and so may arrive in advance of any other items you have ordered.

View all Delivery Options

90-Day UK Returns for all items

We want you to be 100% satisfied with your shopping experience at Rutland Cycling, so we offer a 90-day exchange or refund on any unused item (within the UK).

We've chosen to offer products at the very lowest prices, rather than provide a free returns service. If you do need to return an item, we provide printable postage labels and collection services at a small cost for all items - including bicycles.

See our full Returns policy.

30 Day Test Ride

All the convenience of buying online, without the risk
When you buy a new bike at full RRP from, you can now benefit from the added reassurance of our Rutland 30-day test ride. Once your new bike arrives, you can ride it as your own for 30 days, and we're confident you'll love it! However, if it's not right for you, we'll exchange it for another model. (There's a nominal charge of £10 for us to collect your bike - just make sure you keep the box your bike arrived in.)

On which bikes is the 30-day test ride available?
The Rutland 30-day test ride is available on all full price, non-discounted bikes available for home delivery on It is not available on discounted or special offer bikes, click and collect bikes, bikes bought on finance, bikes bought through Cyclescheme, or bikes bought in store. This offer is only available on bikes delivered to mainland UK addresses.

How many times can I use the 30-day test ride?
We will allow up to two exchanges within this scheme.

Full T's & C's

Finance your purchase

Get a confidential decision online in seconds.

At Rutland Cycling, we offer Finance on orders over £250, with 0% finance up to 36 months available on selected bikes, including some sale bikes. Visit the product page to see which finance products are available.

You can apply for Finance online or in store. To apply online, add your selected items to your basket, then checkout as normal. Select Finance as your payment method, fill in the application form, then complete your order.

See our Finance page for more information.

COVID-19: service and delivery delays READ MORE>

Please be aware that shipping delays are to be expected as a result of important measures we have put in place to protect our teams.

Read more >

Back to Blog  

Everything you need to know about the Spring Classics

   Words by David Hicks

   on 27/02/2019 10:02:00


Cycling – and particularly professional road cycling – is full of tales and folklore, stories of grit and determination, and of one rider overcoming all the odds to bathe themselves in glory. The terms ‘epic’, ‘brutal’ and ‘legendary’ have become far too overused by your day-to-day roadie to describe a slightly -longer-than-usual café ride and seem to appear in 9/10ths of Strava ride titles, but there’s one time of year where every syllable of each of those words can be applied without a hint of exaggeration. The Spring Classics.

You can keep your Grand Tours – and Christmas as well – this, we assure you, is the most wonderful time of the year.

What are the Spring Classics?

The ‘Spring Classics’ is a little bit of a catch-all term for a number of one-day professional road races that take place across Northern Europe from late February through to April, and includes four of cycling’s five ‘Monuments’ – Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Tour of Flanders. For convenience you’ll often see these races grouped together, such as the ‘Cobbled Classics’ which covers those races held, funnily enough, across the cobbled roads of Belgium and northern France, or the ‘Ardennes Classics’ which includes the three big races held over the space of a week in the Belgium Ardennes and Dutch Limburg regions culminating in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Throw in some Italian flair with Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche, and you have probably the most exciting stretch of racing of the whole calendar year.

So what makes the Spring Classics different to the Tour de France? All held over one day, the classics are all-or-nothing, do-or-die races – leave everything on the tarmac and hope you’re the first across the line at the end of the day – and that makes for some of the most exciting racing you’ll see. Add to that some unique parcours, inclement weather, and some of the strongest riders in the peloton and you have a two-wheeled touch paper just waiting to be lit.


The courses

You won’t find any Alpine climbs during the Spring Classics, but what they lack in altitude they make up for in frequency and ferocity. Races like the Tour of Flanders are characterised by numerous short, sharp ‘bergs’ or ‘hellingen’ which are short in length but pack a punch in either gradient or road surface. Just google the Koppenberg and you’ll see what we mean. For those climbers amongst you, you’ll be more at home in Ardennes week and the lengthier climbs of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. And if it’s not hills, it’ll be questionable road surfaces – Paris-Roubaix is pancake flat but tackles some of the roughest roads a road bike will ever see to make it one of the toughest races around.

The weather

As you may have guessed, early Spring in northern Europe isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows. Frequently, these races are blighted by terrible weather which makes the racing even tougher (and makes them more ‘epic’). From snow at Milan San Remo to mud baths at Paris Roubaix, even when the weather is good you’ll see riders caked in mud and dust as they flop over the finish line.

The riders

With all of these races around or above the 200km mark and characterised by fast, aggressive racing and short punchy climbs it takes a special type of rider to excel at the Classics. The best one-day pros will have huge levels of endurance and masses of power, and they’ll usually be taller and stockier than your average mountain goat. They’ll also have a pocket full of options when it comes to winning – the engine to ride away from a group, the punch to drop their companions on a climb, or the kick to sprint away at the finish. Here, you’ll see the likes of Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet come to the fore with recently retired legends like Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara fresh in the memory.

The bikes

The Classics bring out a special breed of bike kit, particularly at Paris-Roubaix. With the rough terrain and long races, arriving fresh at the finish can make the difference between winning and losing and in the past road bikes have seen everything from front suspension, to rear suspension, to bar top brake levers. As technology has moved on it's more about special frame layups and disc brakes, with many of the features making the ideal bike for the average British rider and spawning the endurance and sportive bike category.

The races

Now you know what to expect from the Classics, here’s a pick of the best races to keep an eye on over the next few months.

Cobbled Classics

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Date: 2nd March 2019 | Distance: 200km | Location: Gent, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Michael Valgren

The traditional curtain raiser for the Spring Classics and the true start to the race season for traditionalists, the peloton hit their first stretch of cobbles when they tackle the Haaghoek cobbled road after 39km. Again the race tackles the legendary Muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg in the last 27km. Last year, winner Michael Valgren pulled away with 2km to go and managed to hold off the 13 other riders to take the victory.

E3 BinckBank (previously the Harelbeke)

Date: 23rd March 2018 | Distance: 203km | Location: Harelbeke, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Niki Terpstra

Lovingly named after a Belgian bank, E3 BinckBank tackles many of the climbs that will take centre stage at the Tour of Flanders. The Taaienberg is a fixture of the race and would traditionally see Tom Boonen put in his first attack of the Classics.


Date: 31st March 2019 | Distance: 251km | Location: Deinze, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Peter Sagan/ Marta Bastianelli

A key fixture in the build up to the Tour of Flanders, the weather here is often foul with crosswinds wreaking havoc in the first 100km – the 2015 edition saw Geraint Thomas literally blown off the road. Last year Peter Sagan joined a prestigious group of record holding riders to have won the race 3 times. Other record holders being; Tom Boonen, Mario Cipolini, Eddy Merckx, Rik Van Looy, and Robert Van Eenaeme. In last years race, Marta Bastianelli outsprinted Jolien D’Hoore and Lisa Klein to take the win in the women’s race.

Dwars Door Vlaanderen

Date: 3rd April 2019 | Distance: 203km | Location: Roselare, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Yves Lampaert

Coming mid-week to mark the start of Flemish Cycling Week, DDV tackles much of the same parcours as the Tour of Flanders and is usually fairly unpredictable depending on whether the big names want to stay quiet in the bunch or assert their authority ahead of the upcoming run of races. Last year, Yves Lampaert took the title for the second consecutive year in a five-up sprint ahead of Mike Teunissen and Sep Vanmarcke.

Tour of Flanders

Date: 7th April 2019 | Distance: 266km | Location: Oudenaarde, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Niki Terpstra/ Anna van der Breggen

With a rich history from over 100 editions, the Tour of Flanders – or Ronde Van Vlaanderen to give its official name – is one of the five one-day ‘Monument’ races in road cycling. With winners including Eddy Merckx, Roger Van Vlaeminck, Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan only the very best get to reach the top step at the finish in Oudenaarde, with a perfect cocktail of strength, tactics, team support and luck required to be victorious. Highlights from RVV are plentiful, but be sure to check out Boonen vs Cancellara in 2010, and Philippe Gilbert’s 55km solo victory in 2017. Last year, Anna van der Breggen soloed to victory after attacking 30km from the finish. This year, the women will be taking to the course ahead of the men and will be riding a 157km route.



Date: 14th April 2019 | Distance: 257km | Location: Compiègne, Paris to Roubaix, northern France | 2018 Winner:Peter Sagan

The ‘Queen of the Classics’, Paris-Roubaix is one of the most prestigious – and toughest – races on the calendar. Pancake-flat, the race also known as the Hell of the North instead challenges the riders with 52.8km of unkept cobbled farm tracks across northern France. Strength, tactics and luck all need to combine perfectly for victory here, with the winner crossing the line first in the Roubaix Velodrome before collecting his cobblestone trophy and freshening up in the famous shower block. The key cobbled sectors to watch are the Arenberg Trench and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, and be sure to watch Tom Boonen’s 50km solo victory in 2012.

Ardennes Classics

Amstel Gold Race

Date: 21st April 2019 | Distance: 260km | Location: Limburg, Netherlands | 2018 Winner:Michael Valgren Anderson/ Chantel Blaak

With Paris-Roubaix marking the end of the Cobbled Classics, the pros move onto the Ardennes Classics – a week of races with hillier parcours. Amstel Gold kicks things off in the Dutch region of Limburg with over thirty short climbs in greater succession as the race progresses. Things come to a climax with the climb of the Cauberg with the puncheur’s trying to break free and hang on to a lead on the 1.5km run-in to the finish. In the women’s race, Chantel Blaak outsprinted the breakaway and held off the chasers to the line.

La Flèche Wallonne

Date: 24th April 2019 | Distance: 198km | Location: Seraing, Belgium | 2018 Winner:Julian Alaphilippe/ Anna van der Breggen

Sitting midweek between Amstel Gold and Liège–Bastogne–Liège, La Flèche Wallonne (or, ‘The Walloon Arrow’) tackles a tough circuit around the Flemish Ardennes with a finish on the brutal Mur de Huy which sees slopes of up to 26%, and where Alejandro Valverde had been victorious for four years, until Julian Alaphilippe took the victory in 2018. Last year Anna van der Breggen took her fourth back-to-back title, if she wins in 2019 she will match Marianne Vos's record of five victories.


Date: 28th April 2019 | Distance: 256km | Location: Liège, Belgium | 2018 Winner: Bob Jungels/ Anna van der Breggen

Often called ‘La Doyenne’, or ‘The Old Lady’, LBL is the oldest of cycling’s monuments with the first edition taking place in 1892. With it’s length and numerous climbs, including the mythical Col de la Redoute, LBL is one of the toughest days out for the pros, and draws a different breed of rider to the Cobbled Classics before it, with punchier climbers and Grand Tour contenders coming to the fore. Last year, Anna van der Breggen chased down Amanda Spratt on the last climb and took another victory.


The others…

Strade Bianche

Date: 9th March 2019 | Distance: 175km | Location: Siena, Italy | 2018 Winner:Tiesj Benoot/ Annemek van Vleuten

After Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and before Flemish Cycling Week, the peloton’s classics contingent take a sojourn to Italy to tackle Strade Bianche. Although a relatively new race, it has quickly gained popularity for its tough racing on the white gravel roads of Tuscany and stunning scenery.

Milan-San Remo

Date: 23rd March 2019 | Distance: 291km | Location: Milan to San Remo, Italy | 2018 Winner:Vincenzo Nibali

The first Monument of the season, Milan-San Remo – also known as ‘La Classicicissima’ and ‘La Primavera’ – is also the longest. Known as the sprinter’s classic, Milan-San Remo is the best chance for the fast men of the peloton to grab a Monument victory although its unpredictability is what makes it so special, with a slow build up reaching a crescendo with the final ascents of the Cipressa and Poggio as the punchier climbers try to distance the sprinters before a rip-roaring descent into the finish in San-Remo.

Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic

Date: 28th April 2019 | Distance: 188km | Location: Rutland, UK | 2018 Winner:Gabriel Cullaigh

We’re very fortunate to have our very own classic right here in Rutland! A UCI-registered event, the CiCLE Classic is arguably the biggest and best one-day race in the UK with the race with, much like their continental counterparts, tough off-road and unpaved sections and repeated punchy climbs that litter Rutland and Leicestershire. Supported by Giant Store Rutland, the race has a great atmosphere and is incredible to see up close – make sure to get a spot in Owston, or visit the Somerberg for the best of the action. This year the route has changed with even more spectator friendly viewing spots!

Women's CiCLE Classic

Date: 9th June 2019 | Distance: TBC | Location: Rutland, UK | 2018 Winner:Neah Evans

Following on from the men's race, we have the Women's CiCLE Classic a few months later on a shorter course. Last year Neah Evans rode to victory against a strong women's field.


Get geared up for the Classics

See all the latest pro kit and get geared up for your very own Classics season at your nearest store.






Share this Article

Search Articles

Recommended for you


1500+ reviews


2000+ reviews


7000+ reviews

Certificate of Excellence

Leave us a Review
Review us

2019 BikeBiz Finalist

Family Business 2018 winner

East Mids Finance Team of the Year

1000 companies to inspire Britain 2019