Paris-Roubaix is a famous single-day professional bicycle road race held in northern France starting in Compiègne and finishing in Roubaix, near the Belgian frontier. It was one of the ten UCI Road World Cup races and became part of the UCI ProTour. It is one of the 'Classic cycle races' has the nickname The Hell of the North .
|Local name(s)||Paris-Roubaix (in French)|
|Nickname(s)||The Hell of the North|
Queen of the Classics
The Easter race
|Type||Monument one-day race|
|Organiser||Amaury Sport Organisation|
|Editions||105 (as of 2007)|
|First winner||GER Josef Fischer|
|Most wins|| BEL Roger De Vlaeminck|
|Most recent||AUS Stuart O'Grady|
Paris-Roubaix is one of the oldest professional bicycle races. Théo Vienne and Maurice Perez got the idea to run the race and in 1896, the sports newspaper Le Vélo worked out original route between Paris and Roubaix. The race has been contested every year since 1896, stopped only by the two World wars.
Riders are often covered from head to toe in mud and grit, and race over the cobblestoned roads and hard rutted tracks of northern France. However, the race got the nickname l'enfer du Nord, or the Hell of the North from journalists who watched the race after world war I, and saw it pass through many of the ruins, craters, and destruction along the way.
Originally, the race was from Paris to Roubaix, but in 1966 the starting location was moved to Chantilly, 50 kilometres to the north of Paris, to be moved in 1977 to Compiègne, approximately 80 kilometres to the north of Paris. Famous for rough terrain, the route of Paris-Roubaix is adjusted slightly from year to year as the older roads are resurfaced and the race organisers seek to replace them with other challenging cobbles, to maintain the character of the race - in 2005, for example, the race included 54.7 kilometres of cobbled sections. The race finishes with 750 meters on the smooth concrete expanses of the large outdoor velodrome in Roubaix.
The bicycles of Paris-RoubaixEdit
Due to its challenging course, and poor weather conditions, Paris-Roubaix presents a challenge to riders, team support personnel, and equipment alike. Special frames and wheels are often used specifically for Paris-Roubaix, in various configurations depending on the weather conditions.
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- "The real Hell of the North". www.cyclingnews.com. 16 April 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
- "Paris-Roubaix 1998". uci.ch. 12 April 1998. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
- "102nd Paris Roubaix Preview". www.dailypeloton.com. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "WWIII: La Trouée d'Arenberg is back". www.cyclingnews.com. 9 April 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "Roubaix @ Roubaix - Specializing in cobbles". www.cyclingnews.com. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "Paris-Roubaix 2005". www.letour.fr. 4 April 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2007.