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

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A Fassa-Bortolo and U.S. Postal Service rider crash on the cobbles during the 2003 Paris-Roubaix

A Fassa-Bortolo and U.S. Postal Service rider crash on the cobbles during the 2003 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trentin recovers on the Roubaix velodrome

Trentin recovers on the Roubaix velodrome
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Niccolo Bonifazio works his way through the melee of journalists and fans

Niccolo Bonifazio works his way through the melee of journalists and fans
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Exhaustion on the velodrome

Exhaustion on the velodrome
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Jay Thomson hydrates at the finish

Jay Thomson hydrates at the finish
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij rider heads to the team buses

A Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij rider heads to the team buses
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Owain Doull crashed early in the race and finished outside the time limit

Owain Doull crashed early in the race and finished outside the time limit
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Dylan van Baarle made the top twenty in 2017

Dylan van Baarle made the top twenty in 2017
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Gianni Moscon of Team Sky finished fifth in 2017

Gianni Moscon of Team Sky finished fifth in 2017
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Yoann Offredo of Wanty-Groupe Gobert

Yoann Offredo of Wanty-Groupe Gobert
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Mud, sweat and spit

Mud, sweat and spit
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Nils Politt of Katusha-Alpecin

Nils Politt of Katusha-Alpecin
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Marcus Burghardt with his partner in the track centre

Marcus Burghardt with his partner in the track centre
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Adrien Petit of Direct Energie speaks to reporters following his 9th place finish

Adrien Petit of Direct Energie speaks to reporters following his 9th place finish
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Daniel Oss of BMC Racing

Daniel Oss of BMC Racing
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Movistar rider Alex Dowsett finished the race in 66th place

Movistar rider Alex Dowsett finished the race in 66th place
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen finished 64th following his 5th place finish in 2016

Edvald Boasson Hagen finished 64th following his 5th place finish in 2016
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)
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Matteo Trentin following his fifth Paris-Roubaix

Matteo Trentin following his fifth Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Smiles from Cannondale-Drapac following a podium finish

Smiles from Cannondale-Drapac following a podium finish
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Even the TV Motos can come into difficulty on the cobbles

Even the TV Motos can come into difficulty on the cobbles
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sylvain Chavanel crashes in 2011

Sylvain Chavanel crashes in 2011
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet hit the stones during the 2014 edition

Greg Van Avermaet hit the stones during the 2014 edition
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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If one rider goes down, there can be nowhere to hide on the narrow secteurs

If one rider goes down, there can be nowhere to hide on the narrow secteurs
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jonas Rickaert clutches his elbow following a crash

Jonas Rickaert clutches his elbow following a crash
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabian Cancellara's crash in 2016 ended any hopes of a fourth Paris-Roubaix victory

Fabian Cancellara's crash in 2016 ended any hopes of a fourth Paris-Roubaix victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tom Boonen crosses the Roubaix velodrome finish line for the final time in 2017

Tom Boonen crosses the Roubaix velodrome finish line for the final time in 2017
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen loses a rear derailleur

Oliver Naesen loses a rear derailleur
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lotto-Soudal teammates console each other following the 257km race

Lotto-Soudal teammates console each other following the 257km race
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nikolas Maes breathes a sigh of relief

Nikolas Maes breathes a sigh of relief
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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2016 champion Mathew Hayman reflects following the 2017 edition

2016 champion Mathew Hayman reflects following the 2017 edition
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bernie Eisel speaks to the press

Bernie Eisel speaks to the press
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Jasha Sutterlin finishes 40th in the 2017 edition

Jasha Sutterlin finishes 40th in the 2017 edition
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A dusty edition masked every rider that finished

A dusty edition masked every rider that finished
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Manuel Quinziato was part of Greg Van Avermaet's winning team in 2017

Manuel Quinziato was part of Greg Van Avermaet's winning team in 2017
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A rare smile following the Hell of the North

A rare smile following the Hell of the North
(Image credit: Reuben Bakker-Dyos / Immediate Media)

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.