Not that it makes it any easier….
Organisers of Paris-Roubaix have discovered that one of the most decisive cobblestone stretches is actually 100 metres shorter than previously thought.
The iconic Arenberg Trench, the first five-star pave sector in the race, is long thought to have stretched to 2,400m.
But while announcing the route for the 2019 edition of the ‘Queen of the Classics’, the race organisers revealed that the Trouée d’Arenberg is in fact 2,300m.
More accurate measurements taking during the recce for this year’s edition found the discrepancy, although its not going to make the stretch any more welcoming to the peloton.
The trench is decisive each year, playing a significant role in stringing out the race and whittling down the number of potential winners.
Despite it’s positioning around 90km from the finish, the severity of the road surface and the narrow width make it one of the most memorable moments of each Paris-Roubaix.
Taking place on April 14, the 2019 edition will roll out of Compiègne and tackle a 257km route – the same distance as 2018.
The total cobbled distance also remains the same at 54.5km.
This year’s first sector, Troisvilles, will be considerably shorter than 2018, with 900m of cobbles compared with 2.2km last year.
Then the peloton will be given the chance to honour the memory of Beligan pro Michael Goolaerts, who died of cardiac arrest at the Briastre to Viesly sector last year.
After that, the race tackles the Quiévy, Saint-Pythong, and Vertain in the opposite direction to the 2018 edition. Vertain will make its return after last appearing in 2017.
From the Valenciennes sector, the race then follows an unchanged route to the Roubaix Velodrome – although the official map has changed due to the more accurate distances measured.
The 117th edition of the race will then come to a head on the famous Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre sectors.