Paris - Roubaix 2024: The Route

Paris-Roubaix 2024Sunday 7 April - Also known as the ‘Hell of the North’, Paris-Roubaix is one of the oldest and one of the most difficult one-day races with riders having to endure a daunting gauntlet of cobbled sectors before the finish in the Roubaix Velodrome. This year's route adds up to 259.9 kilometres with 55.7 kilometres on cobbles.

The Hell of the North opens with almost 100 kilometres on flat and smooth asphalt. That’s roughly two hours to warm up to the idea that an onslaught is imminent.

The bone-jarring fest begins near Troisvilles on a farm road with three stars and a length of 2,200 metres. Yearly, the organisation juggles a bit with the first cobbled sectors, taking a few out, inserting some old ones. This time the sector between Viesly and Briastre re-appears, as are the slighly uphill cobbles of Le Hameau du Buat. But it’s really nothing if you zoom out to the big picture. It’s the anticipation of what’s ahead that gives the race its edge at this stage. It’s all about creating suspense.

Tension rises while approaching the Arenberg Forest at the heart of the race. The so called Trouée d’Arenberg is 2,284 metres long and rendered dark by the over-stretching trees on either side. The road heads straight on through the woods and because it descends slightly in the first half speeds are high. Aspiring winners should be at the front, otherwise you risk getting caught up behind or in crashes. Complicating things this year are a series of chicane-style bends to brake the speed in the approach to the sector.

Paris-Roubaix really is on fire when hitting the pavé to Wandignies-Hamage and the route continues onto Mons-en-Pévèle. The combination of the length of 2,985 metres and the sorry state of the cobbles account for brutal hardship in the peloton.

Still ten sectors remaining after leaving Mons-en-Pévèle. Within less than 30 kilometres the pilots tackle the pavé of Mérignies à Avelin (700 metres), Pont-Thibault à Ennevelin (1,400 metres), Templeuve – L’Epinette (200 metres), Templeuve-Moulin-de-Vertain (500 metres), Cysoing à Bourghelles (1,300 metres), Bourghelles à Wannehain (1,100 metres) and Camphin-en-Pévèle (1,800 metres).

The iconic Carrefour de l’Arbre appears with 16.5 kilometres left. At 2,086 metres, this stretch of pavé is feared for the sloped corners. After 1,200 metres a tricky left-hand bend leads to a slight ascent. Specialists who want to strike on their beloved pavé should do it on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, as this is their last opportunity. The last three sectors are too easy.

Gruson and Willems à Hem lead the way to the last cobbled section, in Roubaix itself, which is only there for show. The cobbles are neatly organised to avoid major discomfort. Riders continue into the old Velodrome with one and a half laps to go.

The last two editions were won by Dutchmen, both with a solo. In 2022, Dylan van Baarle attacked on Camphin-en-Pévèle from the lead group, while Mathieu van der Poel made the decisive move on the Carrefour de l’Arbre. The High and High Water-edition of 2021, in which it rained incessantly, saw the last group sprint in Roubaix Velodrome. Sonny Colbrelli outgunned Florian Vermeersch and Mathieu van der Poel to take the best win in his career.

Ride the route yourself? Download GPX Paris-Roubaix 2024.

Other interesting reads: results and start list 2024 Paris-Roubaix.

Paris – Roubaix 2024: route, profiles, more

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