Paris-Roubaix: Blood, sweat, mud and tears – Gallery

The Hell of the North living up to its name

Since 1896, Paris-Roubaix has been raced with the only interruptions occurring during the First and Second World Wars. Legend has it that when journalists returned to the area for the first race following the hiatus in 1919, the area was in such a state of disrepair it was described as 'Le Enfer du Nord' or 'The Hell of the North'.

Despite the carnage, the cobbled roads, or pavé survived and the race continues over a century later.

In the modern era, cyclists, journalists and fans continue to descend upon the area to see the spectacle that is the hardest and most famous of the one-day Monuments. Despite the crashes, blood, sweat, mud and tears that inevitably ensue each year, nothing quite compares to the carnage that befell the region during the World Wars of the twentieth century.

Click or swipe through the gallery above to take a closer look at one of sports toughest and at times, most brutal spectacle.


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