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Here at Sports Tours International we have been taking our riders to Paris – Roubaix for well over 20 years. After taking part in the June Paris Roubaix Cyclo Sportive for many years, we were there for the very first Paris – Roubaix Challenge. In recent years the event has gained massively in popularity and one of the most exciting cobbled sectors (s’ecteurs paves’) is the Trouee d’Arenberg. Even though the recent editions of the Paris – Roubaix have taken place in good weather conditions, preparation for the course takes a lot of work because if it were to rain, there may be a problem.
Throughout the year ‘Les Amis de Roubaix’ make sure that the cobbles are in good condition. If there is no maintenance then the moss and grass will make the cobbles unpassable for bikes. They would simply be too slippery. Read below about the work of this volunteer organisation and what you can do to help them. Sports Tours International have contributed to their recent fundraising to assist them with their work as we want to keep enjoying future editions of the iconic race that is Paris – Roubaix and it would not be the same without the Arenberg.
These are ” Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix” , a volunteer organisation created in 1977. They are 273 members strong with among them 65 foreigners from 13 different countries
The main aim of the organisation is to preserve and improve the main cobbled sectors of the famous Paris – Roubaix. To achieve this they are rolling out a 3-year plan of works to cover the entire route.
1. Large works carried our by construction firms (300 to 400 meters are totally re-done every year)
2. Medium sized works done by the students of local horticultural colleges in the Région Hauts de France (200 m² re-done every year)
3. Small projects done by the volunteers (a few m² per year)
This year, Les Amis have been able to improve 3 secteurs (Haveluy à Wallers in cooperation with le lycée de Raismes, Mons-en-Pévèle with le lycée de Lomme and Tilloy à Sars-et-Roisères with le Département du Nord)
2300 metres of the most mythical ‘secteur pavé’ of Paris – Roubaix at Arenberg, are suffering from an excessive build up of weeds poking through the cracks which is getting worse each year. If nothing is done then it will not be possible for the ‘Reine des Classiques’ (Queen of the Classics) to go over the cobbles if it rains as the cobbles will be simply too slippery.
Several regional entities like la Région Hauts de France and le Département du Nord ahve already undertaken several works but it is still not enough. The Amis de Roubaix need more help to sort out all of Arenberg which is painstaking work as the photos show..
The project will take place in 3 stages:
1st stage: clean up the gaps in between the cobble stones on the first 900 metres (money for this has been secured)
2nd stage: clean up the gaps on the final 1400 metres before the end of 2019/ start of 2020
3rd stage: improve the track to the side of the cobbles with hard packed sand ready for 2020
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