PARIS-ROUBAIX
CYCLING WEEKLY|October 08, 2020
Who will take the throne at season-crowning Queen of the Classics?

It takes something to outshine the Queen of the Classics, but arguably the inaugural women’s edition of the race does just that.

Paris-Roubaix is so unique and there are so few firsts left to be had in the rich history of cycling, that getting to experience one in 2020 of all years is a particular treat.

The women’s race has a short warmup out of Denain, before it picks up the men’s route at secteur 17, so no Forest of Arenberg for them, but with it being only 116km in length, expect it to be full gas from the get go.

Meanwhile, the men face a very similar parcours to 2019. The route from the Forest of Arenberg (secteur 19), where the race really hots up, to the finish remains unchanged.

However, there have been some tweaks to the earlier sections. This year there are 30 stretches of pavé in total, numbered in descending order towards the velodrome in Roubaix.

The first they’ll meet, after 100km of tarmacked roads, is secteur 30 at Troisvilles, which has been lengthened to include its full 2.2km of cobbles.

The biggest early test will come at Vertain (secteur 25), which the riders have never ridden upwards before and has subsequently been upgraded to four stars. That’s followed by the Buat secteur, which also goes uphill for 1.1km and hasn’t appeared in the race since 2016.

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