27 97,5 Troisvilles à Inchy 2,2
Added to the route in 1987, this section is also called the Rue de la Sucrerie
, the first section for Duclos-Lassalle is deliverance (Troisville is a gloomy village, he says, which adds up to the stress)
26 104 Viesly à Quiévy 1,8
25 106,5 Quiévy à Saint-Python 3,7
24 111,5 Saint-Python 1,5
23 119,5 Vertain à Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon 2,322 126 Capelle-sur-Écaillon à Ruesnes 1,7
This one is also called the Hameau du Buat
added to the race in 2005 by Duclos-Lassalle, as a substitute for the Arenberg Forest (though it remained after the Forest had been re-added). It's only section that also is a proper climb. Around 6%. The Belgian would call it the Eikenberg of the Valenciennois.
21 142 Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes - Famars 2,6
The section of Aulnoy was added last year to the course. It directly got a 5 star classification, which I find a bit over the top. But still a hard one. The consequence of this addition being the Forest is now 90km from finish.
20 145,5 Famars à Quérénaing 1,2
19 149 Quérénaing à Maing 2,5
18 152 Maing à Monchaux-sur-Écaillon 1,617 163,5 Haveluy à Wallers 2,5
Haveluy has now become the Pavé Bernard Hinault
. In the shadow of Arenberg it's still a 4-star section, which had been restored last year by the "Amis de Paris-Roubaix: http://www.epl.raismes.educagri.fr/outils/actualites/detail-actualite/article/paris-roubaix-secteurs-paves-haveluy-wallers-helesmes-saint-martin.html16 172 Trouée d’Arenberg 2,4
The big one. Most famous. Its real name is Drève des Boules d'Airain
(Bronze Balls Drive
, I would translate). The Dutch call it Het Bos van Wallers
and the Anglos: The Arenberg Forest
. The French call it La Trouée
or Tranchée d'Arenberg
. The entrance to Arenberg is definitely one of the greatest TV-moments of the year. Arenberg was discovered in 1968 by the late World Champion Jean Stablinski who was a former coal miner working under it. He was still an active rider in 1968 and raced on it, the only one to have worked above and below and got insults from his peers, ..of course. The addition of the sector gave Antoine Blondin the famous quote "The last insanity of the cycling sport". Arenberg is a straight section, the first part being distinctly descending, and the last part slightly uphill. It's the only section that needs barriers, which Madiot regrets because he enjoyed the communion between the riders and the public. In the name of safety, this picture has been dropped now.
Over the years riders started to master Arenberg. These two docos show the difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTPNfr1apVo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm3-g7uWQ4Y
15 178,5 Millonfosse à Bousignies 1,4
This section has been added last year. Its main asset is that it's very close after the Forest but doesn't seem that hard to me. I still regret the Wallers to Hélesmes
section, which has been dropped after 2008 (in the name of safety again) and was an 1.6km long section (4 stars), 3k's after Arenberg. The Arenberg-Hélesmes combo was usually very harsh.
14 183 Brillon à Tilloy-lez-Marchiennes 1,1
14 185,5 Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières 2,413 192 Beuvry-la-Forêt à Orchies 1,4
Famous section. You often have an amateur Beuvry-la-Fôret GP around the section in August: http://www.cyclisme-sport.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=614:grand-prix-de-beuvry-la-foret&catid=39:courses-francaises&Itemid=55
12 197 Orchies 1,7
Famous 3-Star section, which shapes an L, the first between being known as Chemin des prières
) and the second one: Chemin des abattoirs
). I guess it's the right order. Legend says Ocaña dismounted there and says: "Never this again, I'm a cyclist, not a tightrope walker." In the last 600m cobbles are very much coming apart.