The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have set a difficulty level for each of the 29 cobblestone sectors of the race, based on their length, the irregularity of the cobblestones, the overall condition of the sectors and their position in the race.
This year, 55km of cobblestones will feature on the 2017 edition that will total 257 kilometres in all.
This year, Paris-Roubaix will be, for the first time, broadcast from start to finish and you can watch it online this Sunday, here.
Troisvilles to Inchy (2,2km) / Rating : ***
Race director Thierry Gouvenou says: “Unlike the final cobblestone sector that can be sportingly anecdotal, the first sector lets the rider know if he has what it takes and can boost his confidence… or not”.
Viesly to Quiévy (1,8km) / Rating :***
“It is the second zone of a string of closely situated cobblestone sectors”.
Quiévy to Saint Python (3,7km) / Rating : ****
“It is one of the longest sectors along with Hornaing. It is the first opportunity of the day to really test one’s form”.
Viesly to Biastre (3km) / Rating : ***
“This new sector concludes on a downhill portion. It hasn’t been used since 1989. Its reintroduction is the result of the hard work put in by the students at the Raismes Horticultural High School and of the municipality”.
Biastre to Solesmes (0,8km) / Rating : **
“Although it is short, this uphill sector will deal a blunt blow to the peloton”.
Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Ecaillon (2,3km) / Rating : ***
“This section continues the theme of sapping energy that began on the preceding sectors”.
Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing (1,6km) / Rating : ***
“This is the first sector of a string of sectors that will be strategic before the Trouée d’Arenberg”.
Quérénaing to Maing (2,5km) / Rating : ***
Thierry Gouvenou says: “A very long but rolling sector”.
Maing to Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (1,6km) / Rating : ***
“This could be a key sector in the race. In 2016, it was here that a first selection was made spurred on by Tom Boonen”.
Haveluy to Wallers (2,5km) / Rating : ****
“This is a decisive sector before entering the Trouée d’Arenberg. The cobblestones are irregular. It is a determining moment in the race”.
Trouée d’Arenberg (2,4km) / Rating : *****
“This is one of the legends of Paris-Roubaix. You can’t win the Hell of the North in the ‘Trouée’, but you can certainly lose it”.
Wallers to Hélesmes (1,6km) / Rating : ***
“Better known as ‘Pont Gibus’. Generally, it is here where we see who the contenders for the win are”.
Hornaing to Wandignies (3,7km) / Rating : ****
“A very long sector but generally quite rolling. This portion begins the final selection”.
Warlaing to Brillion (2,4km) / Rating : ***
Thierry Gouvenou says: “No particular difficulty. Generally, it is here where the peloton drops the most riders”.
Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (2,4km) / Rating : ****
“This sector forms some nice zigzags crossing the fields. Unfortunately, the riders will not have time to enjoy the scenery.”
Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (1,4km) / Rating : ***
“The cobblestones are very irregular in this sector. A very delicate passage where riders will have to pay very close attention”.
Orchies (1,7km) / Rating : ***
Thierry Gouvenou says: “This is the moment to pray one last time”.
Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (2,7km) / Rating : ****
“This is where the favourites begin to come to the forefront and try to escape from the peloton”.
Mons-en-Pévèle (3km) / Rating : *****
“This is one of the key sectors of Paris-Roubaix. The uphill portion in the second half will oblige the strong riders to show themselves. The race order at the exit of this sector often reflects that of the arrival”.
Mérignies to Avelin (0,7km) / Rating : **
“A short sector and a transition between two paved portions”.
Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (1,4km) / Rating : ***
Thierry Gouvenou says: “A short and rolling sector”.
Templeuve (0,5km) / Rating : **
“The perfect time for a team to make the most of their numerical superiority”.
Cysoing to Bourghelles (1,3km) / Rating : ***
“This is where the final outcome begins”.
Bourghelles to Wannehain (1,1km) / Rating : ***
“A slight uphill sector that takes a toll on the riders”.
Camphin-en-Pévèle (1,8km) / Rating : ****
“This is THE decisive sector of Paris-Roubaix. The favourites will have to give it everything they’ve got left”.
Carrefour de l’Arbre (2,1km) / Rating : *****
Thierry Gouvenou says: “This is the moment of truth”.
Gruson (1,1km) / Rating : **
“This is the opportunity to increase the time gaps”.
Willems to Hem (1,4km) / Rating: ***
“In 2017, the riders are obliged to ride on the cobblestones. This could be the final pitfall of the day”.
Roubaix (0,3km) / Rating : *
Thierry Gouvenou says: “The tribute to the only Roubaix winner of Paris-Roubaix, Charles Crupelandt”.