Paris-Roubaix-NO MORE PAVE?????

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Mordecai Silver (not verified)

I can't say I disagree with the organizers of the race, if the condition of the Arenberg is as horrible as they say. In 1998, Johan Museeuw crashed there and almost lost a leg to gangrene. Since then the path has deteriorated, and it's too dangerous for the peloton to race through. Paris-Roubaix isn't a cyclocross race, so an unrideable, flooded, sunken track shouldn't be included.

P-R is over a century old, but the Wallers-Arenberg forest wasn't included till 1968. It will be renovated (i.e., made rideable), and then will be part of the route again.

Anonymous's picture
ScottD (not verified)
Bklyn Pave - soon to vanish

"closer to home - the development of IKEA, Fairway, and a recently approved cruise ship terminal, all in Red Hook, will eliminate some of the finest lengths of cobblestone remaining in NYC.

I have not been through the area recently to check the status of the road ""improvements"", but 2005 may be last ever year for the Bklyn Pave ride and associated Paris Roubaix race viewing.


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<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Extend or substitute

Across the Hudson river there's quite a bit of Pave to be had in Hoboken and Jersey City, including a stretch nearly a mile long. Throw in a short PATH or ferry ride to the downtown and westside of Manhattan (meat market) and you have additinal Pave. From there it's a short ride to the Brooklyn viewing.

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Evan Marks (not verified)
cobbles making a comeback?
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Michael (not verified)
Forest of Arenberg

"Although the Forest of Arenberg is the most famous and legendary section of pavé, according to race director Jean-François Pescheux: ""There will be two full kilometers more pavé this year than there were last year, for a total of 53.2km.""

I like defending champion Big Magnus Bäckstedt's response: ""It's just not Paris-Roubaix without it.""

""Being in the lead group when you hit the Forest of Arenberg is a sign that you are having a good day,"" he said. ""Once you've made it through there and you're still with the leaders, you're having a great day... you know you've made it. You know that you still have a chance""

""I can understand when people, race organizers and the like, make decisions like that and safety is a big concern for me, too,"" he added. ""But Paris-Roubaix is different. It's not like we are operating on the belief that it's going to be an easy day, now are we?""

""If you want to eliminate the danger, the hazards and the risks, you might as well run it on 260 kilometers of flat roads and be done with it,"" he said. ""Things like slippery cobbles - even big gaps in the road - are what give this race its charm!""


Anonymous's picture
GM Goth (not verified)

At first, I was rather accepting of the explanation, but am getting angrier by the second.

Is there a rule in the official Paris-Roubaix handbook that prohibits the riders getting off their bikes and running for 200 meters? Those that wanna try riding can try it.

Lance did some 'cross work post-Beloki, no? No reason it can't be done here.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
P-R and cyclocross: big difference

"For one thing, a cyclocross race is over in about an hour; P-R takes more than 6 hours and is about 260km long. Yes, there's no rule that riders can't get off and run with their bikes, but the Arenberg ""trench"" is 2,400m long, not 200. Have you tried running in bike shoes on muddy, sharp, slippery cobbles for 2.4km? The organizers don't want to be responsible for broken arms and legs in order to satisfy a spectator's desire to see bloody crashes.

Lance ran across a few yards of a grassy field, no danger there. By the way, has Lance ever raced Paris-Roubaix at all? I don't recall him ever doing it. Greg Lemond was criticized for focusing on the Tour and Worlds, but he regularly rode P-R, and came in 4th in 1985, the same year that he finished second in the Tour and the Worlds, and third in the Giro. Lance has never cared for P-R, and since his return to cycling he has cared for one race only."

Anonymous's picture
GM Goth (not verified)

"I appreciate the sentiments, Mordecai, but in the end I have to listen to the defending champ more than anybody else. And he is opposed to eliminating it.

The bikes, in many cases, are already rigged to be more durable for P-R. And there is no reason why a team could not opt to put their guys in MTB shoes for the race to run the 200-meter section that's been sunk. They wouldnt have to run the whole of the Forest.

Either that, or fill the thing in before April 3.

I think a post to VeloNews said it well -- w/o Arenberg P-R is ""the heck of the north."""

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