L’enfer du Nord – A Sunday in Hell! – 9th April – 115th Edition
Some photos from my visit to the Vélodrome André-Pétrieux, Roubaix
“Paris-Roubaix, anticipated and dreaded by riders in equal measure, is perhaps the fan’s favourite of cycling’ Monuments. So much of the race has passed into legend: the numerous secteurs of pave including the Arenberg Trench and the Carrefour de l’Arbre; the finishing lap of the Roubaix velodrome; the showers where exhausted, jarred, often broken riders wash the day’s accumulated filth from their bodies. Even in good weather (its been dry since 2002), crashes are commonplace as dust impairs vision, wheels slip and equipment breaks on the unforgiving terrain. In the rain it becomes treacherous, muddy and unpredictable. Either way, the winner must ride his luck, have nerves of steel and an abnormally high pain threshold. The prize; a plaque in the shower block and a place in history among cycling’s greats”
2017 Winner: Greg Van Avermaet – BMC Racing
Finish: Vélodrome André-Pétrieux, Roubaix
The final Act: (Above) Cat and Mouse in the Roubaix Velodrome – Stybar and Avermaet
The 2017 Paris-Roubaix route contained 29 cobbled sectors totalling 55km, over a total race distance of 257km.
The three most anticipated sectors Tranchée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre were all included. However, there are also changes from previous years in that two new additions, Briastre and Solesmes, will appear as sector 25 and 26 near the start of the race. It is the first time they have been used since 1987.
Photos by Me / Map and Poster from letour.fr
Paris-Roubaix was inaugurated in 1896, making it one of the oldest bike races in the world. Born of a familiar story involving entrepreneurial types, newspapers, and money-making schemes, in time the race has come to adopt monikers like the ‘Queen of the Classics’ and ‘Hell of the North’, and remains one of the most prestigious victories to take in pro bike racing.
You could be forgiven for thinking that it was these horrendous surfaces, as well as other hazards and a generally harsh crack of the organiser’s whip, that earned the race the title the ‘Hell of the North’. But in fact, it was the devastating effects of the world at war that gave Paris-Roubaix this timeless moniker – coined by journalists as they inspected the route prior to the race’s revival after World War One.
The Tom Boonan Fan Club 🙂
Boonan – second wheel – ends his career here today – finishing 13th
A2gr La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Lotto Soudal (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Quick-Step Floors (Bel)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (Ned)
Team Sky (GBr)
Team Sunweb (Ger)
UAE Abu Dhabi (UAE)
Pro Continental Wildcard Teams
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Delko Marseille Provence KTM (Fra)
Direct Energie (Fra)
Fortuneo-Vital Concept (Fra)
Roompot Nederlandse Loterij (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Bel)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)