Gallery: On the start line at Paris-Roubaix

The contenders line up for the Hell of the North

It was a fine day in Compiègne as the riders lined up for the start of Paris-Roubaix. Some rain had fallen overnight, which should help to reduce the dust in the pavé sectors, and the conditions looked good for a day on the cobbles.

Plenty of Belgians had hopped over the border to see their heroes tackle the Hell of the North and they have plenty of contenders this Sunday with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Jürgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) all in with a shot at victory. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is the big favourite, after a stunning run on the cobbles, along with defending champion Niki Terpstra (Etixx-QuickStep).

Terpstra is one of only two former champions riding Roubaix, along with 2011 winner Johan Vansummeren (AG2R-La Mondiale). Other contenders for the title are Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep), Lars Boom (Astana) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). Bradley Wiggins will be hoping that he can end his tenure at Team Sky with a victory.

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