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by Shane Stokes
February 22, 2018
Kristoff wins stage 1 of the Abu Dhabi Tour; Guardini, Ewan go close to victory in Abu Dhabi; Concussion diagnosis for Cavendish following early exit from Abu Dhabi Tour; Wiggins advises multiple world champion not to go to Team Sky; Riders’ association negotiates increased prizemoney from RCS Sport; Tweaks to Paris-Roubaix route unveiled, ASO confirms 29 sectors in all; CyclingTips Podcast: NAHBS predicts the future of bikes, plus a look at concussion tests; Video: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad teaser; Video: The system of winter transfers.
The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have announced tweaks to the 2018 event, confirming two new seconds of cobblestones. These are a new stretch in Cambrésis, as well as a 1.5 kilometre tussle heading towards Saint Vaast. In all there will be 29 sectors totalling 54.5 kilometres. This total is slightly less than the 55 kilometres of 2017, but higher than the average of 52.58 kilometres from the past ten editions.
“For many years, the organisers of Paris-Roubaix have done their bit to discover and preserve these extraordinary roads, which guarantee a spectacular show on the day of the race and, even more importantly, give the landscapes of the region a special flavour,” said organiser ASO in a press release.
“The course changes for the 2018 edition affect the 30 kilometres after Troisvilles. The Saint-Python sector is back after a year on ice, but the riders will tackle it in the opposite direction this time round. Another new sector, this one stretching for 1,500 m between Saint-Hilaire and Saint-Vaast, will push the riders harder shortly afterwards.”
However it acknowledges that the effect on the final outcome may be muted. “These new changes are not expected to play a decisive role in the outcome of Paris-Roubaix, as the big stars usually keep their powder dry until the final 100 kilometres.”
ASO added that the pre-race procession at the start in Compiègne will bring the peloton through the Glade of the Armistice. This is where the armistice that ended World War I was signed on 11 November 1918.