There is no other race in the world like the Paris-Roubaix. The French race is known for its torturous pavé sectors and the many stories of pain and destruction that they hold.
This morning we will head off to Paris Roubaix, the Hell of the North or l’enfer du nord as the French say.
Australia’s Mat Hayman has won this icon and dreams of riders like George Hincapie and Johan Museeuw have ended in tears along the roadside, but the risks make the victory in velodrome that much sweeter. After 260 kilometres and around 50 of pavé, the race ends with one and a half laps on Roubaix’s outdoor track.
Win in Roubaix, the third of cycling’s five Monuments, and you are considered a god. Riders like Roger De Vlaeminck, Fausto Coppi, Rik Van Looy, Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Sean Kelly and Tom Boonen have tamed Paris-Roubaix’s pavé for the well-earned status.
After a hard day on the bike yesterday we take it easy this morning. We already have seen two starts this week, Flanders and the Scheldeprijs. After breakfast were going to the first cobblestone section of the day. Through the afternoon we will visit several sections of pavé along the route where we’ll see up close the difficult conditions that take their toll on the riders as the day wears on.
Then our chase begins and goes something like this:
Final times to be confirmed when race schedule is released.
We will head straight to the cobble stone area at Inchy where will see the race pass over a long and difficult section of pavé (cobble stones), as well as enjoy our picnic lunch.
13h25 : First cobble stone area at Inchy, Length of pavé : 1800 m
14h40 : Haveluy, Length of pavé : 2500 m
15h45 : Orchies, Length of pavé : 1700 m From Orchies will then head to the Roubaix velodrome to await the arrival of the 2015 winner.
17h30 : Velodrome
18h30 : After we have visited the finish area your day at Paris-Roubaix comes to an end. In between the different stops we will follow the race on TV in our vehicles and we will provide a picnic lunch with drinks and snacks during the day.
After the race we will continue to our hotel in near Zaventem in preparation for our departure tomorrow. Tonight we’ll have a farewell dinner where it all began 3 days ago!