The 2017 edition of Paris-Roubaix will include more cobblestone sectors than last year, organisers ASO announced today. Two new sections of pavé have been added to total 55km of cobbled roads, up from 52.8km last year.
The 257km route will once again begin in Compiègne and end in the Roubaix velodrome, and include the critical pavé stretches through the Arenberg Forest, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l'Arbre.
The first cobbles still come at Troisvilles à Inchy (2.2km), which will now be sector number 29 with the addition of two new sectors, and are followed by the Viesly à Quiévy (1.8km) and Quiévy à Saint-Python (3.7km) sectors. But rather than head to the 1.5km Saint-Python, the race will head back to Viesly and take in the Briastre sector at kilometer 112.5 and the Solesmes at km 116, neither of which has been used since 1987.
Route designer Thierry Gouvenou said the reintroduced sector is being revitalised. "The first is three kilometres long, it is actually being renovated, but it is one of the difficult sectors. The next is a lot shorter. However, it is uphill!
"It is not our wish to make the race harder at this stage, but to find more diversity between the cobblestone sectors and make sure these areas continue to feed the legend."
Another minor change has been made after the Vertain à Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (2.3km) sector. The loop that took in Capelle à Ruesnes as sector 22 last year has been replaced by a different loop and a different stretch of pavé to take the race to the Quérénaing à Maing sector.
The changes appear to be restricted to the first half of the race, with the route from Quérénaing à Maing through to the finish remaining the same as 2016.