Roubaix organizers are busy weeding as grass grows on moving cobblestones – .

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Roubaix organizers are busy weeding as grass grows on moving cobblestones – .


Templeuve (France) (AFP)

The organizers of Paris-Roubaix, which returns on Sunday, fought against the grass that grew along some of its famous cobblestone sectors during the two-and-a-half-year hiatus from the coronavirus.

The “queen of classics” was postponed and then canceled last year and again postponed until last spring.

His last race was in April 2019, when Belgian Philippe Gilbert won.

In the meantime, “Hell of the North” has emerged.

The Arenberg trench, one of the three most difficult areas, had to be thoroughly cleaned last week, to get rid of the grass covering the cobblestones.

“It seems correct to me, there is no rutting problem”, declared the race director Thierry Gouvenou to Templeuve during the traditional course reconnaissance on Tuesday, before checking the condition of the last sectors, in particular the crossroads. of the tree.

“The Arenberg breach needed a big cleanup,” said Gouvenou, adding that some spots require even more weeding before the weekend and pointed out that after several dry years, the rain forecast for later this week. week could result in the first muddy race since the early 2000s.

The 118th edition on Sunday, starts, as since 1977, from Compiègne at 09h00 GMT and travels 259 kilometers to the Roubaix velodrome and this year has 55 kilometers of cobblestones, in 30 sectors.

On Saturday, Paris-Roubaix will host a women’s race for the first time on a route of 116.4 kilometers (including 29 km paved) starting from Denain.

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