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No Arenberg in Paris-Roubaix?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 25, 2012, 4:41 GMT,
Updated:
January 25, 2012, 7:21 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Race:
Paris - Roubaix
The Leopard Trek team previewed the Arenberg forest secteur on Thursday.

The Leopard Trek team previewed the Arenberg forest secteur on Thursday.

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Safety concerns arise again after heavy moss growth on cobblestones

ASO is considering scrapping the Forest of Arenberg section of pavé in this year's Paris-Roubaix after inspections from Jean-François Pescheux and Thierry Gouvenou revealed the cobblestones have been heavily covered by moss and other plant growth making the passage unsafe for racing.

According to L'Equipe, even with thorough cleaning of the pavé the condition of the road may still not be rideable in 2012.

"I have told the public authorities in the past and the Office National des Forêts; without proper cleaning, we cannot use Roubaix," said Jean-François Pescheux. "We are basically in the same situation as we were in 2005, when we decided not to pass though Arenberg because of the danger it posed to riders."

Thierry Gouvenou explained that it was the possibility of inclement weather that posed the biggest risk when the cobbles in Arenberg were in this kind of condition, but hopes that the cleaning work on the pavé will be enough to keep it in use.

"If the weather is dry, then there is no problem, but if it rains, the risks become excessive," said Thierry Gouvenou. "But assuming the work is performed the right, then hopefully we can retain the same route as 2011."

Paris-Roubaix will be held April 8.

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