The Arenberg Forest is one of three five-star rated sectors of pavé at Paris-Roubaix this year and is once again a crucial junction in the race. The 2400 metre sector comes at kilometre 158 and is the tenth time that the peloton encounters the pavé. There will be 27 sectors of pavé at this year's 253km race.
While contenders may not make the winning move in the Arenberg, they can surely lose the race through crashing, puncturing, or both. The speed of entry into the Arenberg is usually in excess of 60km/h with riders jostling to get into the first positions and avoiding being caught behind the inevitable crashes.
Having worked under the forest as a miner, Jean Stablinski suggested the race visit the pave that had been laid by Napoleon I, with the Arenberg making its debut in the race in 1968. Since 1999, the race has entered the forest from the other direction an in an attempt to reduce the speed of entry after Johan Museeuw's crash the previous year.
"Paris–Roubaix is not won in Arenberg, but from there the group with the winners is selected," Stablinski said of the forest.
In the video below, watch Tinkoff-Saxo recon the Arenberg via the camera on board Pavel Brutt's bike. Make sure you have your volume on to hear the rattling and shaking of Brutt's bike as he rides the pavé in comparison to the sealed roads at the start and finish of the sector.
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