CF logo



Cycling on Stones

The time has come. Paris-Roubaix is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular races of the year, and a genre in itself. While the Flemish cobbled classics are characterized by short climbs and well-maintained cobblestones, Paris-Roubaix is something completely different: the route is practically flat and all the difficulty lies on the fearsome pavés, which in this case are much more irregular and hard. There is even an association, "Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix," which is responsible for repairing the sectors in the worst condition using the traditional construction method, without cement, only with compacted earth between the cobblestones. As if that weren't enough, a few days before the race, a herd of goats is brought over the sectors to finish "cleaning" them of grass. Truly, we are facing a race from another era.

Women's Race: Route and Favorites

The women's race on Saturday features a route of 148 kilometers with 29.2 km on cobblestones spread over 17 sectors, including the traditional Carrefour de l'Arbre and Mons-en-Pévèle.

Some favorites for the race are Lotte Kopecky (1200), Lorena Wiebes (1200), Marianne Vos (1200), Elisa Balsamo (1000), Elise Chabbey (1000), Charlotte Kool (800), Emma Norsgaard (800), Grace Brown (800), Pfeiffer Georgi (600), Alison Jackson (800), Christina Schweinberger (200) or Femke Marcus (200), although it is a difficult race to predict where there are usually surprises in the top 10.

Men's Race: Route and Favorites

The men's race on Sunday totals 260 km, with 29 cobbled sections totaling 54.5 km. The last 17 sectors are the same as those contested in the women's race, but before that, the men will have to tackle 12 additional sectors, among which the mythical Trouée d'Aremberg stands out, the most difficult one of them all.

As in the women's race, outsiders usually make their way into the top positions. Nevertheless, there is a great favorite, Mathieu Van Der Poel (800), and alongside him, other cyclists who have achieved good results at the Roubaix velodrome (where the race ends), such as Mads Pedersen (1200), Jasper Philipsen (1200), John Degenkolb (200), Stefan Küng (600), Laurenz Rex (200), Christophe Laporte (800), Dylan Van Baarle (400), Matej Mohorič (600), Ben Turner (200), Yves Lampaert (400), Mike Teunissen (400) or Nils Politt (200).

Photo: © Paris-Roubaix