11 April 2014

2014 Paris-Roubaix

La Reine or Queen of the Classics, the Hell of the North or l’enfer du nord,

How to watch the Paris-Roubaix

In person. Really there is no better way, but for those of us located 1/4 to 1/2 way around the road from northern France, we'll have to resort to traditional methods - online. Remember how last week I recommended waking up early to watch the Tour of Flanders, well this Sunday plan to wake even earlier.

Carrefour de l'arbre  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

When it comes to the Paris-Roubaix you can count on crashes, and riders who woke up fully intending to finish the race and instead find themselves left behind in the dust of a cobbled path in France. All this happens well before the sleepy-heads in America wake up. So don't miss out - wake up early and check the usual suspects for links:

Where to watch the race:
You can also pay via Cycling.TV, but I usually watch the free links. I like to juggle between two open browsers and play ping-pong x'ing out the ads so I don't miss any coverage during commercial breaks. I also read text updates for breakaway time gaps and placement of riders. I don't read Twitter anymore, annoys the heck out of me with the same people tweeting the same news, I would much rather watch the scenery and real race action.

Parcours of 2014 Paris-Roubaix

When to watch the race:
  • Start time: Sunday April 13 10:15 CET (2:15:00 AM MDT)
  • Earliest live video: 12:50 CET (4:50:00 AM MDT)
  • Approximate finish: 16:50 CET (8:50:00 AM MDT)
Race Facts:
  • April 13, 2014, (1 week before Easter Sunday this year)
  • 112th edition
  • 25 teams, 8 riders each, 200 riders
  • Compeigne to Roubaix in France
  • 257 kilometers
  • 5,886,720 cobblestones
  • The 3rd of 5 monuments in the classics season
Race details:
  • Paris-Roubaix map, timetable, profile, cobble secteurs
  • The leaders should be on the secteur pavé de la Trouée d'Arenberg at 14h15 CEST (08:15 EDT, 06:15 MDT)
  • The race leaders should Entrée du vélodrome at 16h31 CEST (10:31 EDT, 08:31 MDT)
  • Rider Startlist & teams at ProCycling Stats
Race Previews Paris-Roubaix 2014:
Route marker   Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Podium in 2013:

Fabian Cancellara (SUI) RLT
Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) BLA
Niki Terpstra (NED) OPQ

Previous Winners:

2013 Fabian CANCELLARA
2012 Tom BOONEN
2010 Fabian CANCELLARA
2009 Tom BOONEN
2008 Tom BOONEN
2007 Stuart O’GRADY
2006 Fabian CANCELLARA
2005 Tom BOONEN


Teams reconned the course on Thursday (video: French, 03:13)
Best Of Paris-Roubaix 2013 (video: English, 03:02)
Organizers rate 28 cobbled sectors of Paris-Roubaix, By VeloNews
How to pronounce Compeigne Pronunciation


Bike Modifications for Paris-Roubaix, By Cycling Tips 
Interview: Scott Sunderland on Roubaix tech of the past decade, By Bike Radar

Walking into the Arenberg Forest on race day. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

This race is guaranteed excitement!

Time to revisit my post from 2012 (story and photos) when I took a long anticipated trip to see the Paris-Roubaix in person: I was a fan at the Paris-Roubaix (including driving instructions on how to get to the Arenberg Forest and Carrefour de l'Abre). It is times like this that I am so happy I write a blog so that I can go back and read what happened that day, strange how memories fade overtime. It sure sounds like I had a blast being a fan in the Arenberg forest and Le Carrefour de l'Arbre, more at: Stories from Belgium. Also see: I went to Belgium and took pictures of cobbles (photos from Le Carefour de l'Abre). Or A Brief History of the Paris-Roubaix

This year I thought I would share photos from the day I visited the Roubaix Velodrome:

All photos below by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

When you know you are on the route of the Paris-Roubaix
This is the final sector of pave before the Roubaix Velodrome. I can't imagine the thrill for the first rider hitting this section.
As you walk along the cobbles, commemorative pave stones to past victors have been inserted
The inserted stones are a virtual walk of fame

I hope the year '2012' has been added to Tom's stone by now
After the last cobbled sector, the riders take a sharp right onto this last paved section leading into the velodrome ahead.
They race past this sign on the left to the famed Velodrome Club House
Leaving the Club House behind and all it's occupants at the bar
This is what every rider has dreamed of seeing first (without the car and rider of course). This is the entrance to the Roubaix Velodrome.
The roar of the crowd is now deafening as they make the right sweeping corner into the Roubaix Velodrome
Around the track they go
Making history on this surface
Using everything they have
Towards the bleachers and beyond
Across the new coat of paint and the fans standing on the hillside
It seems huge and yet so small
Looping around the green grass of the outdoor velodrome
The goal is that line, in front of all the fans
This line; where dreams are realized.
Then they will get their name on the wall above the bar in the Club House de Roubaix (and one of those nice paving stones with their name on it)
They will get a smaller version of this as a trophy.
And a well-deserved shower.
And their friends will buy their beer for the rest of their life (this one is inside the Club House)
See more of my photos from I was a fan at the Paris-Roubaix in the Arenberg forest. More info on the Pedal Dancer Page: SPRING CLASSICS

I was there!
If you go to a bike race in France in spring - be sure to bring a flag. I love this photo I found on Cycling Tips from 2012. This is the mood of the Paris-Roubaix:
And this one presented by Cycling Tips in a collection of photos: Paris-Roubaix: Moments in History

Sunday's race should be dry without rain and mud, which means dust!