The classics are coming: A Paris-Roubaix recon gallery

by Matt de Neef


It’s been so long since we last saw the world’s best bike racers duke it out. Paris-Nice was the last race of note, way back in mid March. Since then it’s been months of waiting for lockdown restrictions to end and for racing to start back up again. Now, finally, racing is just around the corner.

Lower-level races have already started back, but Strade Bianche on August 1 kickstarts three months of jam-packed WorldTour racing. The Grand Tours have moved into this compressed late-season stretch, so too the Spring Classics. Paris-Roubaix, perhaps the greatest one-day race of them all, will land on October 25, bringing with it the first-ever women’s edition (finally).

In recent weeks several teams have been out checking out the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. One of those teams was Israel Start-Up Nation who visited with photographer Kristof Ramon in tow. As ever, Kristof’s photos are wonderfully evocative. Even shooting a recon ride, Kristof is able to stir the emotions.

There’s something about images of riders taking on the cobbles, particularly after months without racing. And these aren’t your regular photos of a Roubaix recon ride — this was a ride done in the heart of the European summer, with grass bursting out from the gaps between cobbles, seeking to reclaim farm roads that so rarely get used.

We hope you enjoy Kristof’s photos below. Who else is ready for racing to start up again?