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The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race

Listed under Cycling in North East France, France.

  • Photo of The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race
  • Photo of The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race
  • Photo of The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race
  • Photo of The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race
Photo of The Paris-Roubaix Bicycle Race
Photo by flickr user bram_souffreau
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The Paris-Roubaix is as bumpy and idiosyncratic as the Tour de France is long and gruelling. It only lasts a day and stays firmly out of the mountains, but hill-climbing has little to do with its menacing reputation. It's more down to the 52.8 kilometres of brain-rattling cobblestones and the remaining sections of pothole-ridden, spaghetti-twisting track, which are rendered muddy, slippery and altogether dismal by the mid-April showers that customarily accompany the occasion.

The race has taken place annually since 1896, except during the wars, and it earned its intimidating epithet 'The Hell of the North' not, as might be expected, from its characterful terrain, but from the scenes of post-war devastation through which its route wound with the determination of Spring rebirth in 1919.

It's vastly popular with the French and attracts thousands of spectators, even when it snows, and the level of enthusiastic support is said to be incomparable.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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