Few one-day bike races capture the imagination quite like Paris-Roubaix. The cobbles, the dirt, the mud, the crashes; it truly is one of the hardest races on the calendar. In this piece we’ve trawled the archives to find some images that capture just how epic the Hell of the North is. Enjoy!
The 2016 edition of Paris-Roubaix is 257.5km long and takes the riders from Compiègne to Roubaix. Along the way they’ll face 27 cobbled sectors of varying degrees of brutality, for a total of 52.8 cobbled kilometres.
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) go into the race as the riders to beat, having finished in that order at the Tour of Flanders last week. But of course, there’s no such thing as a certainty in bike racing, particularly when you’re talking about a cobbled epic like Paris-Roubaix; a race in which so much can go wrong so quickly. There are any number of riders that could create history and win the 2016 edition of what is arguably the hardest single-day race on the calendar.