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by Mark Zalewski
February 16, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Hermans wins Tour of Oman, stage 2; Valderde wins Ruta Del Sol opener; Gaviria wins first stage of Volta ao Algarve; Riders’ association protests disc brake usage without further safety measures; After a shining Tour performance, Pantano nurturing a big long-term goal; 2017 Paris-Roubaix to feature more cobbles than in 2016; No Cauberg finish for Amstel Gold Race in 2017; 2017 Women’s Tour to finish in London; Inga Thompson returning to cycling to advocate for the women’s peloton; Shane Perkins to race with Russia in bid for Tokyo 2020; Successful surgery for Chris Butler; Abu Dhabi Tour announces provisional start list; ‘One More Brew’ Garburn Winter Cyclocross.
Paris-Roubaix will be more difficult this year, as the 115th edition will feature more cobblestones compared to 2016. The two new cobbled sectors are Viesly a Briastre at nearly three kilometres long, and Briastre à Solesmes, a shorter stretch of 800 metres. In total, the Hell of the North will have 55 kilometres of cobblestones, or 2.2km more than in 2016.
“The first is three kilometres long; it is actually being renovated but it is one of the difficult sectors,” said route designer Thierry Gouvenou.
“The next is a lot shorter, however it is uphill! It is not our wish to make the race harder at this stage, but to find more diversity between the cobblestone sectors and make sure these areas continue to feed the legend.”
The 256 kilometres parcours will again start in Compiègnes and of course finish on the famous Roubaix velodrome. After the first stretches of cobblestone a change of direction will lead the peloton to the Briastre and Solesmes for sectors 26 and 25, which haven’t been used in the race for 30 years.
Along with the changes the race will still feature the infamous sectors of the tranchée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l’Arbre.