Are you teaching a Paris-Roubaix profile this week (or anytime), or would you like to? The Paris-Roubaix, nicknamed the Hell of the North, is an iconic one-day race in northern France with a very storied past dating back to 1896. It includes long sections on cobblestones, which are brutal to the racers. Last year we had guest instructor and Paris-Roubaix fanatic Matt Scheffer create an incredible profile (for ICA members), to great reviews!
Whether you are an ICA member and take Matt’s profile, or you create one of your own, here are two great resources to more realism to your ride. Velonews just released this article called Cheatsheet: Riding the Paris-Roubaix Cobbles. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Each pavé sector is a chapter in the 113-year tale of Paris-Roubaix. There are no easy cobbles, which exist on a scale from merely difficult to hellish, and on race day there is no escape — barriers and crowds line the route and cut off access to the dirt paths and concrete gutters that one can glide onto any other day of the year.
Each stone tells a story of tires flattened, races ruined; tales of rearing up and, with the slightest touch, ripping a sidewall or sending a wheel skittering sideways like a frightened cat. None should be underestimated. Any sector, any stone, can alter the history of the day.
This year, Paris-Roubaix will tackle 27 sectors, totaling 52.7 kilometers. The entire race is 253.5km long, and all the pavé comes in its latter two-thirds — the first 98km are smooth, rolling pavement.
Roubaix is unpredictable, but predictably so. The length, roughness, and placement of each sector within the race determine its importance to the race narrative. No pavé sector can be ignored, but some deserve extra attention.
For more photos of this race, here is a gallery of iconic images from Cycling News.
Velo News has put together this collection of Paris Roubaix by the Numbers.
If you’ve got the ability to project videos and have wifi access, this video on YouTube will be perfect to project during your warmup, after you’ve introduced the objective of the race.
This video of the extremely muddy 2001 Paris-Roubaix from the point of view of George Hincapie’s team car and their communication with him as he slips and slides all over the place shows you how unpredictable and dangerous this race can be!
In fact, you can do a search on YouTube for Paris-Roubaix and find everything from short clips to full videos of races over the past few decades, so depending on whether you want to show something more recent, or prefer classic bikes, jerseys, and announcers (or even French or Dutch announcers!) you can have a field day with your visuals.
This video shows the riders ignoring the descending train gates as they try to squeeze past. The results could have been a disaster! Apparently the French railway system wants to sue the riders who did this!
(I also embedded this Youtube video as an edit int he post above)
Im excited about using the profile!! ICA is the best!
The short one gave me goosebumps! Great cinematography!
Isn’t it cool? I want to show it on Tuesday in my class!