A beginner’s guide to the Ardennes

The finale of Paris-Roubaix brings a change of focus in the Spring Classics. After five weeks of pavé and bergs that are largely the preserve of the peloton's most potent pedal-pounders, mid-April brings out much slighter figures tempted by the longer climbs of the Limburg region in southern Holland and the Belgian Ardennes. So it's goodbye to Alexander Kristoff and John Degenkolb, and welcome to Alejandro Valverde, Dan Martin and, for one race at least, Chris Froome.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).