The annual Paris-Roubaix Challenge sees amateur riders tackle the pavé of the Hell of the North 24 hours before the peloton takes on the same infamous cobbles.
Alex Palmer rode the 2014 event with La Fuga, taking on the full 170km route, and each and every one of the brutal 28 pavé sectors. Fancy pitting yourself against the Hell of the North next year? Here are eight reasons why every cyclist should add the sportive to their to-do list.
Starting with the most obvious… the cobbles of Roubaix, hold a pretty special place in the history of cycling. Just like Alpe d’Huez or the Col du Tourmalet, the pavé of Paris-Roubaix should be on every cyclist’s bucket list to tick off before they hang up their wheels.
Once you’ve ridden through the Arenberg Forest yourself, you will have gained a whole new level of respect for the pros when you watch it on television each year. Personally, this was brought home to me watching the race just before Arenberg last Sunday. OK, they ride the cobbles fast but to see the bunch hitting over 60kph right before hitting the pavé was arguably more impressive.