Paris-Roubaix is one of the monuments of cycling. Founded in 1896 it's a gruelling race where the cobbled country roads between the mining towns of the north of France make the difference. Seen as a sign of poverty compared to smooth asphalt roads, many of them were dug up. Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix changed that and now works to protect and repair the cobbled roads.
inCycle travelled to the Hell of the North to meet up with 'cobbles keeper' Francis Doulcier, president of Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix. The organization, founded in 1983 has over 200 volunteers taking care of the 'secteurs pavés,'
"Our goals are to preserve cobbles sectors for Paris-Roubaix and to fix them. And the second goal is to promote Paris-Roubaix' image," he says.
In its 112th edition the history of the race weighs on the shoulders of the 199 riders that make up the 2014 peloton. Though the race starts in Compiègne, the place where the peace agreement was signed that ended the First World War, Paris-Roubaix remains the name of the iconic race that you either hate or love.
Get to know the cobbles in this latest inCycle video.
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