Top Ride: The culmination of my visit to Holy Week was the long anticipated, much feared, and never completed ride across the parcours of Paris-Roubaix. Finally I learned what it was like to battle the toughest roads in northern France and earn my own lap of honour at the Roubaix velodrome.
The 117th edition of the always much-anticipateed Paris-Roubaix (“the Hell of the North”) bicycle race will take place on April 14. It has been suggested that if someone was to propose a race like this today the idea would be ridiculed and dismissed. The iconic 1976 documentary film “A Sunday in Hell,” the story of which is told in William Fotheringham's excellent book “Sunday in Hell”.
Interview: Johan Vansummeren is a big guy, standing at nearly two meters tall, but he was also a man with a big engine and could be relied upon in his fifteen Grand Tour rides. Then there was his crowning glory, winning the 'Hell of the North' in 2011. But on the 29th of June 2016, with his wife Jasmine by his side, Vansummeren had to announce his premature retirement from the sport due to a heart problem.
PEZ-Clusive: From the start in Compiègne to the cobbles of the Arenberg Forest and on to the mythical velodrome in Roubaix, photographer Patrick Verhoest was there alongside the riders. Here's a look you'll only see on PEZ at his day following the Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix'14.
Chasing Paris-Roubaix is always an adventure, but one that requires a plan. We'd set out to catch Paris-Roubaix with a four-stop strategy, under the experienced guidance of Velo Classic Tours. But lucky for us, these best-laid plans went awry in the most incredible way. This is the story of how we reached the velodrome on race day.
Roadside: On Sunday April 8th, I had the once again once in a lifetime experience of chasing the most feared Monument of the year – Paris-Roubaix. And just like my ride across these hellish roads a couple days prior, this day was nothing short of ‘epic’.