The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have revealed details of the 2019 race set to take place on April 14. There are two small changes to the route that include shortened sectors through Troisvilles and Trouée d'Arenberg, while the peloton will have an opportunity to honour the memory of Michael Goolaerts between Briastre and Viesly.
The race between the town of Compiègne to the east of Paris and the finish line in the Roubaix Velodrome will once again feature 257 gruelling kilometres that include 29 cobbled sectors spread across 54.5km. The cobbled sectors traditionally begin around the 100km mark of Paris-Roubaix after the village of Troisvilles. The first sector, no 29, has been shortened from 2.2km to 900 metres.
After covering the first section of cobbles, the peloton will race along the sector no. 28 between Briastre to Viesly where they will pass the monument dedicated to Goolaerts, who tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest during last year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix. ASO have renamed the pavé sector in memory of Goolaerts, dedicating it with a memorial ceremony last June. Family and friends of Goolaerts and members of his Verandas Willems-Crelan team team attended the ceremony.
The sector formerly known as Secteur Pavé Chemin de Saint-Quentin is now known as Secteur Michael Goolaerts. As well as renaming the cobbled sector, a monument was erected in his memory near the place where he fell.
The race will then head toward the Cambrésis region for the Quiévy (no. 26), Saint-Python (no. 25) and Vertain (no. 24) in the opposite direction compared to 2018. In addition, the Vertain sector was not used in the 2018 edition of the race, but is back on the route map this year..
Upon reaching the Valenciennes area (sector no. 23) of the race, the Paris-Roubaix course will be the same as previous years as the peloton races towards the Roubaix Velodrome.
There is one small change to the distance of the Trouée d'Arenberg (no. 19), with the first five-star sector reduced by 100 metres. Organisers recently took a more accurate measurement of the sector and found that it is 2.3km long, and not 2.4km.
In November, French newspaper La Voix du Nord reported concerns about the grass growing in between the cobblestones through the Arenberg, which could become dangerously slippery when wet. That prompted race organisers to look at solutions to make the road safer, which included possibly having the gaps between its cobbles filled in with mortar.
The Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and Carrefour de l'Arbre (no. 4) five-star sectors will once again set the scene for the outcome of the 2019 Paris-Roubaix.
Seven wildcard teams have been invited to join the WorldTour squad at this year’s race including all five French Pro Continental teams. Cofidis, Delko Marseille Provence, Direct Energie, Team Arkea-Samsic and Vital Concept – B&B Hotels will compete, along with Wanty-Gobert Cycling and Roompot-Charles.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the 2018 edition of Paris-Roubaix, while John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won the Tour de France stage over the cobbles last summer.