Paris-Roubaix sector ratings
April 4 th 2023 - 17:40
On 9 April, the peloton of the 120th edition will battle it out on a 256.6 km course with 54.5 km of cobbles spread out over 29 sectors, the first of which comes 160 km from the line. Each sector is rated on a scale from one to five stars.
Following Paris–Roubaix race director Thierry Gouvenou and Paris–Roubaix Femmes race director Franck Perque's most recent reconnaissance of the course on 4 April, the organisers have rated the difficulty of the cobbled sectors in the race based on their length, the unevenness of the cobbles, the overall condition of the sectors and their location. The Trouée d'Arenberg (no. 19), Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and the Carrefour de l'Arbre (no. 4) remain the only sectors with a five-star rating.
The cobble-gobblers scouting the roads from now until Sunday will spend the week acclimatising to this exceptional terrain and putting their gear through its paces. Meanwhile, the organisers have turned the invitation for the media to join in the recces into a tradition that starts with a fluffy omelette for breakfast at Chez Françoise in Troisvilles, an institution of Paris–Roubaix. Yet, with the first cobbled sector just around the corner, grub will be the last thing on the minds of the riders when they zip past this famous café on Sunday. The return of the three-star Haspres sector (km 139.6) for the first time since the 2004 Paris–Roubaix will add an element of surprise. The Trouée d'Arenberg, the most dreaded and often decisive moment of the race since its introduction in 1968, has received a makeover from an un-baa-lievable team of gardeners in anticipation of the peloton blasting into the sector at nearly 70 km/h. A 40-strong herd of goats was called into action to nibble away at the weeds coating this forest lane, which turns into the biggest arena on planet cycling once a year. It was the ideal solution to reduce the risk of slipping without applying toxic products to this protected area. The champions who emerge unscathed from the Trouée d'Arenberg and inch a bit closer to the coveted trophy will owe the Goat Gang a big "thank you"! It is 93 kilometres from there until the finish line.