On Sunday the 9th of April, 2017 the bunch sets off for the 115th edition of Paris-Roubaix, the third of five Monuments on the cycling calendar. Also known as the ‘Hell of the North’, Paris-Roubaix is one of the oldest and one of the most difficult one-day races with riders having to endure a daunting gauntlet of cobbled sectors before the finish in the Roubaix Velodrome.
A perfect blend of positioning, power and tactical nous are required if a rider is to lift the famous cobble-stone trophy awarded to the victor, not too mention a large slice of luck. Given the conditions, mechanical issues are unavoidable in Roubaix, the timing of which can be the difference between winning and losing.
Mathew Hayman is title holder. In 2016, he oupowered Tom Boonen, Ian Stannard and Sep Vanmarcke on the line.