Sectors given star-ratings after course inspection
The organisers of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix have completed their course inspection and assigned difficulty ratings to each of the 27 cobbled sectors along the 2013 course.
Christian Prudhomme and Jean-François Pescheux ranked all 52.6km of pavé based on length of the sector, the unevenness of the cobbles, the overall condition of the sectors and their locations.
There have been a few minor alterations to the course from the 2012 edition, which pushed the appearance of the first sector in Troisvilles out by one kilometer. The first five sectors remain unchanged, but then the course takes a different route, avoiding the Capelle-sur-Écaillon à Ruesnes, Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes - Famars and Famars-Quérénaing, which were sectors 22, 21 and 20 last year.
Instead, the race will divert after Vertain, giving the riders a 10km break before sector 22 in Verchain. The course then briefly picks up the 2012 route on the Quérénaing-Maing sector, which is number 21 this year.
The feared Trouée d'Arenberg will now come at kilometer 158, making it sector 18, rather than 16. The riders will have 3,600m fewer of pavé and 14km less of racing in their legs when they reach the first five-star set of cobbles in the Arenberg forest.
The peloton will again divert from last year's course, exiting the forest to head south toward the Wallers sector, which returns after a five-season absence. The three-star sector, also known as Pont Gibus, cost Sylvain Chavanel his maillot jaune in the 2010 Tour de France.
What follows is a difficult portion of the course which lumps in four lengthy sectors: Hornaing (3.7km), Warlaing (2.4km), Tilloy (2.4km) and Beuvry-la-Foret (1.4km), in the space of 20km.
The riders will then be on familiar roads, with the route following the 2012 course straight through to the finish on the Roubaix velodrome.
The second five-star section comes at the Mons-en-Pévèle after 205km of racing (sector 10), and the third is the Carrefour de l'Arbre which has been the traditional launching pad of the final selection. It comes with 20km to go and is 2.1km in length.
The 27 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix
27: Troisvilles - km 98.5, (2,200 m) ***
26: Viesly - km 105, (1,800 m) ***
25: Quiévy - km 107.5, (3,700 m) ****
24: Saint-Python - km 112.5, (1,500 m) **
23: Vertain - km 120, (2,300 m) ***
22: Verchain-Maugré - km 130, (1,600 m) ***
21: Quérénaing - Maing - km 133, (2,500 m) ***
20: Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon - km 136.5, (1,600 m) ***
19: Haveluy - km 149.5, (2,500 m) ****
18: Trouée d'Arenberg - km 158, (2,400 m) *****
17: Wallers - Hélesmes, aka "Pont Gibus" - km 164, (1,600 m) ***
16: Hornaing - km 170.5, (3,700 m) ****
15: Warlaing - Brillon - km 178, (2,400 m) ***
14: Tilloy - Sars-et-Rosières - km 181.5, (2,400 m) ****
13: Beuvry-la-Forêt - Orchies - km 188, (1,400 m) ***
12: Orchies - km 193, (1,700 m) ***
11: Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée - km 199, (2,600 m) ****
10: Mons-en-Pévèle - km 205, (3,000 m) *****
9: Mérignies - Avelin - km 211, (700 m) **
8: Pont-Thibaut - km 214.5, (1,400 m) ***
7: Templeuve - Moulin de Vertain - km 220.5, (500 m) **
6a: Cysoing - Bourghelles - km 227, (1,300 m) ****
6b: Bourghelles - Wannehain - km 229.5, (1,100 m) ***
5: Camphin-en-Pévèle - km 234, (1,800 m) ****
4: Le Carrefour de l'Arbre - km 236.5, (2,100 m) *****
3: Gruson - km 239, (1,100 m) **
2: Hem - km 246, (1,400 m) **
1: Roubaix - km 256.5, (300 m) *
- spring classic