Paris-Roubaix might be flat and races through a barren wasteland, but it has a magnetism that has you on the edge of your seat. De Ronde is maybe an acquired taste, but Roubaix is like the Tour de France, you might not like it, but you have to watch it. Peter Easton gives us his thoughts on the Queen of the Classics.
As we count down to Sunday and the Hell of the North, Ed Hood looks back at the 2007 Paris Roubaix and how the underdog, Stuart O'Grady, left the top riders in his dust. As a regular to the Queen Classic, Ed and his pals inspect the cobbles of Arenberg, the mechanics at work, the Roubaix velodrome and, of course, a local bar.
Roadside Report: Amongst the thousands of crazies roadside in the dust at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday was our own Lee Rodgers who was chasing the race with Velo Classic Tours. Seeing the Hell of the North live is a once in a lifetime experience and just like Lee's ride across these hellish roads a couple days prior, this day was nothing short of ‘epic’.
Everyone remembers their first time - the foreign road signs, different shop hours, chasing about countryside like idiots - all to catch a glimpse of cycling's most feared one-day Classic. David Pearce did all that and more at Paris-Roubaix, and lucky for us - he recorded the day on his camera.
PEZ-Clusive: From the start in Compiègne to the cobbles of the Arenberg Forest and on to the mythical velodrome in Roubaix, photographer Patrick Verhoest was there alongside the riders. Here's a look you'll only see on PEZ at his day following the Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix'14.
Race Report: Crashes, attacks, punctures - it was the beautiful mayhem that we love about Paris-Roubaix as Patrick Lefevre's OmegaPharma-Quickstep squad again showed their strength in numbers and tactics as Niki Terpstra surged clear in a late solo move to take the biggest win of his career.
He scored 139 professional wins, including the Three days of De Panne an amazing five times, Ghent-Wevelgem, The Tour of Flanders and, in 1987, Paris-Roubaix. It was one of the most savage editions of the race, ever with only 47 finishers from 192 starters. Ed Hood caught up with Eric to talk about that day and his other career highlights.
The third monument of the season is always a special race. It's the Hell Of The North, the race that puts man and machine over ancient cobbled tracks steeped in history, tragedy and more. Today Ed Hood takes an indepth look at the 2014 race that will once again make the cobbles of Northern France the centre of the cycling world on Sunday.
PezRoadside: We'd set out to catch Paris-Roubaix with a four-stop strategy. We'd visit pavé sectors 27, 23, 16 and 10, before settling in to watch on TV as the Hell of the North reached its conclusion. But the best-laid plans were sent awry in the most incredible way. This is the story of how we reached the velodrome on race day …
Roadside: We've been chasing the cobbled classics since the Omloop in February. With Sunday's Paris-Roubaix the cobbled classic season culminated in legendary fashion, and we were incredibly fortunate to chase the race with former Roubaix podium finisher, Roger Hammond and seen-everything-there-is-to-see soigneur, Bart Brackez.
Preview: ‘It’s a circus and I don’t want to be one of the clowns!’ It’s not everyone who thinks that Paris-Roubaix is ‘Queen of the Classics’ – those were the words of Chrono King, Chris Boardman. But for some, it’s an obsession; it took Frenchman Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle 14 attempts before he finally hoisted that coveted cobble stone above his head, at age 38.
Part Two: When we left off yesterday, the dust storming field had just rolled through Sector 27 in Troisvilles. 26 more sectors lay ahead of them, and we were off to get hold of as many cobbled views as we could before a winner was crowned in the velodrome on a heavenly Sunday afternoon in Hell.
Part One: The cobbled classics often get lumped together, and for the two super cobbled classics, Flanders and Roubaix, they're rarely mentioned in separate sentences. It's a shame, because the two races can't be more different. De Ronde is justifiably known as Flanders's Most Beautiful, whilst Roubaix - her nickname is just as appropriate and perfect: the Hell of the North. We were there once again on Sunday, chasing the dust to Roubaix.
PEZ reviews Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell. As Greg Lemond famously said about cycling:” It doesn’t get any easier. You just get faster.” And for a sport that values the ability to suffer, the least easy of all races is Paris-Roubaix, variously feted as “the Queen of the Classics” and cursed as “the Hell of the North.”
Dirk Demol of The Discovery Channel Bicycle Racing Team has the greatest job in the world. He is the Assistant Director Sportif for the Spring Classics. Dirk won the 1988 edition of Paris Roubaix in the longest breakaway to date. He also won the Circuit of the Flemish Ardennes, and came in second to Stephen Roche in the 1980 Amateur Paris Roubaix. PEZ talks with Dirk about his Roubaix winning ride, preparation, and the desire to get out of the factory.
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