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TOP 5: Cobbled Sportives

by Nick Gregory

1) Paris-Roubaix Challenge

For one Sunday each April the attention of the cycling world turns to Northern France for the 'Queen of the Classics', the 'Hell of the North', the 'Easter Race'; Paris-Roubaix is known by many names, but all of them convey its sense of majesty, mystery and suffering.

"The most horrible race to ride, but the most beautiful to win." - Sean Kelly

Passing through the former battlefields of Northern France, the race is renowned for its torturous stretches of cobblestones, or 'pavé'. The most infamous of these - such as the Trench of Arenberg and Carrefour de l'Arbre - have ended many riders' hopes of crossing the line first in the iconic Roubaix velodrome.

Earlier this year Cyclosport's Nick Gregory tackled the Paris-Roubaix Challenge, his full review can be found HERE:

"As you are tossed like a rag doll across every one of the 28 bone-rattling sections of cobbles that make up the 'Hell of the North', it is impossible not to be blown away by the sheer brutally of the event, and the super-human strength and determination possessed by those for whom this is a job. Not just those who cross the finish line with their arms aloft in victory, but those who simply succeed in finishing, and those who fall valiantly by the wayside trying. Whilst there are other events out there which are longer, or more mountainous, there is nothing quite as attritional as Paris-Roubaix. It truly is one of a kind."

The Arenberg Trench

The V-Sprint Tour of the Black Country...

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