A Super Randonnée is a trip of at least 600 km (=373miles)(max. 619 km) and with a minimum height difference of 10,000 meters (32.809ft) You can choose in advance to drive it as a Randonneur, the time limit is 60 hours. The other option is to complete this as a Tourist, then the minimum day distance is 75 km. The Super Randonnée is under the auspices of Audax Club Parisien. These tours are organized all over the world. The rider must be self-sufficient and can cycle this tour all year round, if the weather conditions allow this. As a rider you determine and organize yourself whether you sleep and where you sleep. If you complete the tour, your name will be included on the Honor Roll, without a time entry, it is after all a performance tour and not a competition. A Super Randonnée is one of the certificates that must be driven for the recognition Randonneur 10,000. If you complete 10 (different) of these tours, you will receive a special medal from the ACP.
The Netherlands and mountains
In the Netherlands, or the low lands, where about 1/3 part is below sea level, you do not expect a climbing trip. The lowest point in the Netherlands is -6.74 meters below NAP, in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, close to my home. However, if you travel to the southern part of the Netherlands, you will find the foothills of the Ardennes and Eiffel in the Limburg hills. Climbfinder has mapped 562 climbs in the Netherlands with a total of 4,322 altitude meters. That is why you got to twist and turn in the Netherlands to do as many climbs as possible. However 10,000 altitude meters can only be achieved if you would cycle in laps. That is why we also visit our southern and eastern neighbors. We do have fantasy in this country, because we make a Mountain out of a molehill. You will not encounter real mountains, but there are many challenging slopes who will leave an impression on you.
Cycling City Valkenburg
This Super Randonnée will start and end in the cycling city of Valkenburg. This city has welcomed the Cycling World Championships several times (1938, 1948, 1979, 1998 and 2012), the Tour de France has had 2 stages here and the Vuelta has visited them. In addition, it is the city that determines the final of the Amstel Gold Race with the Cauberg. The Cauberg has also been the decors for Cycling Cross World Championship and Worldcups. Valkenburg has a train station, is located next to the motorway and Maastricht-Aachen airport is also nearby. With sleeping accommodation from Camping to Hotel, there is something for everyone who wants to arrive here the day before departure. The start is at the Amstel Gold Race Xperience and is one km from the finish. Depending on your arrival time and their opening times, it is possible to shower / change clothes there afterwards while the bicycle can be parked inside. Of course they also have something to eat and drink and in the meantime you can view the history of this Dutch classic. There is also a tap point so that you can fill your water bottles outside close to the entrance.
Cycling is a wonderful sport. The heroism, history and landscapes are an enormous source of inspiration. Watching a cycling race gives an extra dimension if you have also fought the elements there yourself. Everyone at their own level. Many classics also have their own version for recreational users, up to the 1,220 km long Paris-Brest-Paris. The cycling classics Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège have therefore been a source of inspiration for this tour. But impressions from other tours such as the tourist version of the Flèche Wallonne from Spa, Vélomédiane Claudy Criquiélion have also left their mark. The weather gods also have their influence along the way. Those who think back to the snow-ravaged La Doyenne of 1980, won by Bernard Hinault, will be in awe of the slaves of the road. Below you will find a number of winners of these 2 classics that have captured the imagination. However, stories from the back of the peloton, the suffering and the toil to make it to the finish line make this a special sport.
Due to the many twist and turns it is recommended to navigate with a GPS system. You will also cross a road or climb and descend a slope a number of times. It is therefore important to study the route carefully. In addition to the required photo checks, you can also upload your GPX or FIT file after the ride (or through a connection with Strava) on our mybrevet page. The advantage of this is that you do not have to note down passage times along the way. This means that the processing is digital, which saves you postage.
Below you will find an impression of what awaits you during the ride.
Stage 1: Valkenburg – Château Beusdael 38,5 km 593m↑ 500m↓
After the start at the AGR Xperience you quickly drive out of the city. The first climb is the Vauwersberg which is hidden behind the highway. After 4 km, where the bend goes to the right, you can see a street sign posted by residents “Hennie Kuiper Allee”. In 1982 Hennie Kuiper cut the corner here to return to the leading group of the AGR. Nowadays there are fences. After the well-known Geulhemmersweg we drive on the N590 where the finish line of various World Championships and AGR arrivals is located. In 2019, after a thrilling final, the AGR was decided by Mathieu van der Poel. In his honor, the street where he forcing to get back to the front runners has been renamed Mathieu van der Poel Allee. A good reason to drive over this now. After the Marl Quarry ‘t Rooth, there are a number of easy climbs that take you through Mheer and Noorbeek. In these two villages you see a large pine on a bare trunk next to the church. According to tradition, this May pine is placed by the inhabitants two weeks after Easter in honor of Saint Brigida. This piece of folklore in Noorbeek dates back to 1634. When you leave Slenaken you drive up the Loorberg, unlike the pros, you turn left after 600 meters onto the Rode Kruisweg, use a slight gear, which makes this Path down Cherry trees, the first steep climb. After a descent to Teuven, Belgium, you pass the Castle of Sinnich. This Castle street is a beautiful wooded climb and is also known as the Bovenste Bosch (Uppper Forest). In the descent you see the Castle Beusdael and the photo camera need to be ready for action.
Stage 2: Château Beusdael – 3-Country Point 16,7km 407m↑ 254m↓
In Sippenaeken you cycle along the southernmost point of the Netherlands. To then turn left into the southernmost hamlet of the Netherlands; Klein-Kuttingen. The toughest climb in the Netherlands starts in the hamlet of Camerig, based on points. After the descent it is immediately right after “Kasteel Vaalsbroek (Bilderberg)” (Castle Vaalsbroek) and you go over the only Dutch recognized pass, Pas de Wolfhaag to Belgium. On the Belgian side you will see the 3-country point on the right of the road. Until the First World War this was still a 4-country point. Neutral Moresnet was subsequently added to Belgium.
Stage 3: 3-Country Point – Monument Jean Nelissen 15,1km 132m↑ 315m↓
After descending the Vaalserberg you turn right after the Landal Golf course onto a quiet rural road to Holset. Where church and pub keep the road in balance and angels sit under mother’s skirt. After 2 small bumps there is the average steepest Dutch hill the Gulperberg. You are going up at the east side. Jean Nelissen, one of the Netherlands most famous cycling reporters, has been given a monument in a place with a magnificent view. So just keep going and you can relax on the bench.
Stage 4: Monument Jean Nelissen – Doodeman km 15,6km 254m↑ 290m↓
A Dutchman sings during the national anthem: ♫ To the king of Spain I’ve granted A lifelong loyalty
♬. That is the reason to also go the other side of the Gulperberg where the King of Spain once encamped. Then you see Gulpen beautifully situated in the valley. After the round you can greet the de Neel (nickname of Jean Nelissen) one more time and descend to Party again. Outside Wahlwiller lies the Kruisberg with a peak of 16%. In Eys you cycle past the Bie de Tantes inn. Normally in Limburg time for me to reward myself with coffee and flan. They have a number of bicycle parking spaces including bicycle locks ready for use. You will have to decide for yourself whether you have time for a cup of coffee. Because the Eyserbosweg is already waiting for you just around the corner. This is one of the heavier climbs in Limburg. If you have driven over this, you will understand that following these types of climbs in the final of the AGR, the best riders remain at the front of the race. After Wijlre Castle we start in Stokhem on the Doodeman (= The Dead man), the heavier but less well-known climb than its brother the Keutenberg. Along the way, you ask yourself if this name refers to you. But after the steep part to the right behind the grove is a memorial cross following an accident in 1906. And it turns out that this is the real origin of the name of this climb.
Stage 5: Doodeman – Keutenberg 14,5km 279m↑ 246m↓
At the end of the spur of the Doodeman, turn left and cycle around the square farm in the hamlet of Berghof. At the end of this spur we turn left during the first passage to descend again towards the beer brewery in Wijlre. Via Elkenrade you go to the smoothly running Fromberg, which goes up in stages. During the descent, pay attention to how the road runs and then a short recovery moment. There is a 22% warning sign in Engwegen. So it is wise to choose a light gear because the start of the Keutenberg is tough, you take the acidification with you for the rest of the climb. When you want to cycle out of the hamlet of Keutenberg, it’s time for a photo again.
Stage 6: Keutenberg – Sacred Heart statue 27,6km 324m↑ 311m↓
You can now turn right at the end of the spur. After IJzeren you descend the Sibbegrubbe and there will be a reunion with Valkenburg. Don’t cheer too soon at the statue of La Victoire because you still have about 500km to go. After the Goudsberg you will eventually come to Kunrade. Here you start at the quietly located Wachelderberg. The last part of the climb joins the Bergseweg. This hill was the battleground of the World Cup’67 in Heerlen. At the end of this World Cup, the young Eddy Merckx beat Jan Janssen in the sprint with half a wheel at the finish. After the ascent of Hulsveld you descend on the Sint Remigiusstraat. The pros usually go up here. At the Sacred Heart statue you can come to your senses before starting the next stage.
Stage 7: Sacred Heart statue – Rolduc Abbey 12,5km 169m↑ 176m↓
You go up again over the Oude Huls. Then you continue to Kerkrade. You cycle past Gaia Zoo and Castle Erenstein to the Toupsberg. This climb used to be at the beginning of the AGR when the start was in Heerlen (1971 to 1997). You are now sanding against the German border. In the Duivels Bosch (Develish Forest) there is a short steep section at 16%. Then you will see Rolduc Abbey on the right through a gate and the photo control is already there. The Abbey also offers the possibility to stay overnight and they brew, among other things, a tasty beer. If you have time to spare, it is worthwhile to see the courtyard. The Toupsberg and the Duivelse Bosch also formed the battleground during the National Championships 2012 and 2013.
Stage 8: Rolduc Abbey – Highest Point of the Netherlands 21,9km 326m↑ 148m↓
In the Nieuwstraat the houses are on the left in Germany and on the right still belongs to Kerkrade. In order not to make the route too long, you can now go through Germany in the direction of the agglomeration Aachen. It would be a shame to let Vetschauer Berg go before you. To get back to the Netherlands you have to take a narrow cycle path. When you are thrown around the fences you are in Oud Lemiers. Holset is on paper the easiest climb in the list and you come back to the village of the same name. The foot of the Vaalserberg is also familiar territory. Now leave the Pas van Wolfhaag on the right. On the left is the Delftblue Jesus figure on his Superman pedestal. Do you remember that nice running descent from earlier in the day? In addition, it might be a good time to fill the water bottles at one of the catering establishments. The boundary marker and the highest point are found on the right side of the road.
Stage 9: Highest Point of the Netherlands – Signal de Botrange 44,1km 842m↑ 471m↓
Now the Belgian side will feel more pleasant because they now have you in a declining line. In Gemmenich you turn left in front of a car garage onto a narrow cycle path between the houses. In Montzen you turn right before the train viaduct and the Kinkenweg starts. The road surface is not as reliable everywhere as it goes towards the steep part through the forest. After the forest you can catch your breath again. From Henri-Chapelle it is mainly the quieter roads that lead to Eupen. Eupen is the capital of the German-speaking part of Belgium. Here they have the steepest climb in Belgium, averaging 19.1% over 260 meters called the Edelstraße. From the football stadium you go to the base of the climb to Baraque Michel. This 14 km long road over the High Fens can be a bit busy with car traffic. Then we turn left to reach the highest point in Belgium and this tour, Signal de Botrange 694 meters. As a Dutch tour, we could call it the Cima Rooks, as the equivalent of the Cima Coppi in the Giro. Steven Rooks is the only Dutch winner of the Polka Dot jersey in the Tour, and has won both LBL and the Amstel and was 2nd in a World Championship. (Cima Coppi = Italian for the Highest point of the Giro of Italy in honour of Fausto Coppi).
Stage10: Signal de Botrange – Eselsturm, Castle Monschau 22,2km 129m↑ 393m↓
The advantage is that when you are at the highest point, the road goes down. I hope you are in possession of a valid ticket because from Sourbrodt you go left by rail. The old train track connecting Aachen with northern Luxembourg has been transformed into a cycle path. This is entirely located on the territory of Belgium. The roadside can then be German on the way. The gradient is limited to 2%. In order to make good use of a beautiful cycle path, it has been drawn on both the way there and back. In Leykaul you will leave the Vennbahn and set course for Monschau. When you come up at the holiday homes “Traumblick” you get a nice view of the city. Then you turn into the old town center on Bergstraße and take a picture of the Eselsturm of Monschau Castle.
Stage 11: Eselsturm Castle Monschau – Eiserbachdam, Rurberg 25,6km 339m↑ 489m↓
From the Burcht descend carefully over the cobblestones. Monschau can be quite busy with tourists, so it is necessary to adjust the speed accordingly. But the historic city with its half-timbered houses dated from the middle ages is worth a visit. Via the Schleidener Straße you climb out of the valley on the other side. From Widdau you follow the river Rur, which meanders through the northern Eifel. Ultimately, the river is collected by the Paulushofdam, so that the Rursee Lake is formed on the other side. Just before this dam we turn left onto the Eiserbachdam. The Eiser lake on the left is used as a drinking water reservoir. In the middle of the dam it is a good time to take a holiday / control photo.
Stage 12: Eiserbachdam, Rurberg – les Etangs du Menhir 54,8km 776m↑ 727m↓
Through seven hairpin go almost 6km long upward without great extremes. But with a nice view. After Imgenbroich you might be able to hook up your wagon again on the Vennbahn with someone else. You now drive 2 km past Sourbrodt station. Do not forget to check out and then the reservoir of Robertville is nearby. After a short climb to the residential center with the appropriate name Walk (Randonnée (French) -> Walking (Netherlands); Walk (English) -> Walking (Dutch)) it is 7 km to Malmedy in the valley. Then the Route de Saint Vith follows a challenge of one kilometer. After Lasneville you can cast a line in the fishing pond at the menhir.
Stage 13: les Etangs du Menhir – Ferme Libert 10,8km 337m↑ 164m↓
In a short piece you will have to deal with two hills. You immediately start with the Côte de Ronxhi, which leads back to Hédomont. The route de Floriheid takes you to Malmedy. A somewhat larger city that again offers the possibility to supplement the rations. In 2017 and 2018 there were major road works around Stavelot. The LBL course designer then fitted the Ferme Libert into these editions. The ski lift at the top is now used by the Downhillers in the bike park. An extra lift from your end could have been a pleasant welcome.
Stage 14: Ferme Libert – Le Pied Monty Panorama 64,1km 1.125m↑ 1.253m↓
On the way to Stavelot there is another excursion to the Côte de Rivage. This will take you to the edge of the Spa-Francorcamps racetrack. After the Côte d’Ammermont, go three quarters at the roundabout and descend Haute Levee to reach RAVeL 45. This is a road for slow, non-motorized traffic. This allows you to cycle quietly along the top from Stavelot to Trois Point. In the center you turn left and then immediately right. Make sure the gear is right because the Côte de Hézalles is one of those climbs where you have to make sure that your wheel stays in contact with the road. On quiet roads you go to the Plateau des Tailles. The busy road junction at Baraque Fraiture is approximately at an altitude of 640 meters. In the village of Maboge you start climbing the local wall after the bridge. This climb, also known as the Pied Monty. This is one of the infamous climbs in the Vélomédiane Claudy Criquiélion. Before you turn right at the top to follow the spur of the climb to Hubermont. You can get off your bike to enjoy the panorama.
Stage 15: Le Pied Monty Panorama – Col de Haussire 12,2km 369m↑ 257m↓
From Hubermont it is a good time to recover in the descent. Downstairs is the touristic town of la Roche en Ardennes with all associated facilities. But dining too hard is not wise because the climb starts next to the church with the most climbing points in Belgium. The climb goes up like a three-stage rocket, because there is a short descent twice. After 4km you will eventually reach the top. Next to the Col de Haussire sign there is also a tribute to the former World Champion Claude Criquiélion. The col board says “Cotacol 1e Difficulte”. This refers to the Encyclopedia Cotacol with 1,000 slopes of Belgium. This was realized in 1989 thanks to a lot of painstaking work by many volunteers. And their methods form the basis of the digital information that we have at our disposal today.
Stage 16: Col de Haussire – Hodister 16,2km 292m↑ 388m↓
In the descent you first get a sharp turn to the right and then we have to turn left onto the N89 so moderate your speed in time. In the descent you will receive a warning for a sharp left turn. At the bend is the exit to (the Côte de) Ciele. At Jupille there is a bridge to cross the Ourthe. Via Warisy we climb to Hodister. An artist lives in Hodister who reuses waste in his artworks. The photo opportunity at the signposts with the church in the background is at the same T-junction.
Stage 17: Hodister – Côte de Stockeu 60,8km 1.074m↑ 1.100m↓
Now that 2/3 of the trip is over, you go back to the other side of the plateau. Via the Côte de Beffe you hook up halfway to the Côte de Dochamps. The Côte de Odeigne brings you close to the Baraque Fraiture. After 9km on the N89 you turn left in Joubiéval via Sart to Goronne. The local witch is on the right when entering Vielsalm. So hurry up before she can enchant you too. In Grand Halleux, the climb of the Côte de Wanne starts at the church. After the top there are a few sharp turns and after Wanneranval keep left and follow the descent. The road surface in the descent is quite bad. In Stavelot it is immediately right onto the Côte de Stockeu. Eddy Merckx is already waiting for you at the end of the steep part. He may have won 525 road races, 2 cyclocross races and 98 track races. But no SR! But if you photograph your bike with him, you are one step closer to a Super Randonnée on your record.
Stage 18: Côte de Stockeu – Ster 64,1km 1.125m↑ 1.253m↓
The pros normally turn left, but the top of the Stockeu is another kilometer further. After Hénumont you turn right again to Wanneranval to climb up the previous descent of the Wanne. At the top of Wanne, turn right to Trois Point. In Coo you turn right before the Café, immediately left and right again on the Thier de Coo. At the covered wooden bench, keep left at the fork over the Chemin des Mazures. The place name sign Stavelot is the beginning of the village of Ster that falls under this municipality. At a side street there is a roundabout to the right of the road with a road cross on it.
Stage 19: Ster – Côte de la Redoute 37,9km 504m↑ 1.015m↓
From Ster you descend on Chemin du Renardmont, a road for local destination traffic to the city of Stavelot itself. From here you will almost follow the course of LBL that was driven in 2016. The kick-off is with De Haute Levée a fairly busy main road. After the descent to Ruy, Le Rossier follows. After the descent we arrive in Spa, a place where water is available. At least you drive past a large complex of this spring water company. In a westward direction we then get the Maquisard and the Hautregard. At the top of these climbs are now “Col” signs. I cannot confirm whether these are officially recognized or whether it is an advertisement from the Tourism Office. The Côte de la Redoute is a climb with a great reputation.
Stage 20: Côte de la Redoute – Côte de la rue Naniot 33,5km 547m↑ 680m↓
Now the last mile to Liege. In Sprimont the road crosses the Côte du Hornay. At Méry you cross the Ourthe again and after the level crossing there is the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons. Because the finish for the professionals has been moved, the riders in 2020 were given the last opportunity to hit a hill on the Falcon Rock. But as mentioned before, you follow the 2016 edition and it goes to the outskirts of Ans. The urban environment of Liège is not the most beautiful part of the route, but you have to do something for it. Fortunately, the organization has opted for the Côte de Saint-Nicolas. Because parallel to this runs the Vieux-Thier de Tilleur, which is shorter and therefore steeper. Only in 2016 it was decided to add the Côte de la rue Naniot, actually a cobbled climb in LBL. But it’s your lucky day, they are neatly paved.
Stage 21: Côte de la rue Naniot – Sint Pietersberg 39,2km 403m↑ 464m↓
Via a beautiful asphalt descent there is the foot of the Côte de Ans, the then final climb. Unfortunately you do not have a blocked track, so you drive neatly on the right side of the road. At the top, the pros turn left where the finish was just before the ramp to the highway. The winner of the winter 2016 edition is the Dutchman Wout Poels. After all this time through urban areas, it is a relief to drive back onto a country road after a railway and highway viaduct. You get 2 short steep climbs in Heure-Le-Romain and just beyond. The Hallembaye is a climb that has been part of both the AGR and LBL in history. Via the climb and then the descent of the Rue de Garage you go with a bridge over the Albert Canal. The lock complex at Ternaaien that connects the canal with the Maas. After Petit-Lanaye you leave Belgium and enter Maastricht. After the ENSI factory you go up the Sint Pietersberg. At the top of the viewing platform you can take a picture of the Marl Quarry.
Stage 22: Sint Pietersberg – Cauberg 17,1km 229m↑ 172m↓
You descend to Maastricht over the eye of Saint Peter. The Kennedy Bridge takes us across the Maas. But it will be a while before we have left the city behind. The climb Sint Joseph separates from the busier road next to it. Then you go to Bemelen. Now the final ride. The Bemelerberg and Cauberg now form the final of the AGR. And have also formed the battleground of National – and World Championships several times. The Bemelerberg is not extremely tough when you are fresh but as often the difference is usually made in the open piece of false flat after the climb. You enter Valkenburg again via the Daalhemmerweg. However, it can be busy on the Grendelplein below, so there is a good chance that you can start on the Cauberg from a standstill. As soon as you pass under the bridge, the end is in sight. At the AGR sign you can take a photo as soon as the clock is in the picture. If you want to drive to the top of the Cauberg, it is located just after the bend at the campsite.