Paris-Roubaix 2024: The Classic of Classics is here

Road 07/04/24 11:25 Migue A.

With no time to savor the fantastic Tour de Flandes we experienced a few days ago, the most spectacular classic of the calendar, the Paris-Roubaix 2024, will take place next Sunday, April 7, starting at 11:10 in the morning, with its tough cobbled sections where Mathieu van der Poel will try to continue enhancing his legend.

Mathieu van der Poel going for the double Tour de Flandes & Paris-Roubaix 2024

Although the classics have been gradually attracting more attention among cycling fans, there is still one that was a pioneer in taking away the monopoly of attention from the grand tours. A race that even transcends the cycling enthusiast public and always attracts the attention of mainstream media that always dedicate some small piece to this Paris-Roubaix 2024.

For cycling lovers, we are talking about the third monument of the season after the races of Milan-San Remo and the Tour de Flandes, both, as usual, spectacular races that have not disappointed at all, as we hope will be the case in the Paris-Roubaix 2024 which, after the withdrawals of important cyclists that occurred before the Tour de Flandes, will once again be a battle to see who can face the overwhelming dominance that Mathieu van der Poel is showing.

Everyone against Van der Poel. Favorites for the Paris-Roubaix 2024

There is no doubt that Mathieu van der Poel is touched by a magic wand this season and we are witnessing the best moment of his sporting career. From his almost perfect cyclocross mini-season, his great debut on the road in Milan-San Remo, although he did not achieve victory, emptying himself for his teammate Philipsen, who ultimately won, and the spectacle of the E3 Saxo Classic or the absolute dominance of the race in the Tour de Flandes.

This makes the Dutchman the main rival to beat in the Paris-Roubaix 2024 where he will once again be supported by an Alpecin-Deceuninck team that will try to control a race as crazy as the hell of the north to bring, at least until Arenberg, Mathieu in the best possible position with names like Kaden Groves or Jasper Philipsen, the latter also not to be ruled out as a plan B in case the race situation is not as desired as in San Remo.

If there is something that Paris-Roubaix has, it is that there are many more uncontrollable factors that can define the outcome of the race, so the range of contenders for victory expands, although, in principle, those who have to seek a change in the course of the race will be the Lidl-Trek team, who once again have Mads Pedersen as their main asset. The Dane will try to make up for his race in Flandes after admitting to having made several tactical errors that affected his chances. The American team also has the cards of Jonathan Milan and Edward Theuns who could also be alternatives depending on how this Paris-Roubaix 2024 unfolds.

Although it may seem strange to include them among the teams destined to play an important role in a cobbled classic, there is no doubt that Movistar Team silenced many of us with the way they raced in the Tour de Flandes, not afraid to shake up the race at decisive moments or seek an anticipation that could have led them to the podium. Therefore, it is fair to include Oier Lazkano and Iván García Cortina among the cyclists who could be in the group of chosen ones who arrive with options at Carrefour de l'Arbre. Apart from that, they will surely try to go for the initial breakaway, in a Paris-Roubaix 2024 where this represents an advantage more than a wear and tear in order to showcase the sponsor, with men like Remi Cavagna or Mathias Norsgaard.

Visma-Lease a Bike, will once again have Matteo Jorgenson as the leader a priori for the Paris-Roubaix 2024. The team is reinforced compared to Flandes with the recovery of Christophe Laporte who, along with Dylan van Baarle, will be a reliable trio for the Dutch team.

As we were saying, the atypical nature of the Paris-Roubaix 2024 means that the list of cyclists who can present themselves in the final kilometers with options to win increases, so quality cyclists should never be ruled out, among whom we could mention a Matej Mohoric or an Alberto Bettiol.

Paris-Roubaix 2024 Route

If it works, don't change it. The route of the Paris-Roubaix 2024 follows the same line that the race has maintained for decades with minimal variations that often come as a result of the need to repair a cobbled section, a task that is almost exclusively dedicated to the association Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix.

As usual, the Paris-Roubaix starts in Compiegne, about 100 kilometers north of the French capital, with a first part, 95 kilometers until the arrival of the first cobbled section, on hilly terrain where the wind is usually a protagonist and which, in recent years, has become increasingly relevant due to the intense fight to be in the breakaway of the day.

And Paris-Roubaix must be the only race where being ahead not only does not mean a waste of energy but, on the contrary, allows you to anticipate the movements of the favorites and ride a good number of cobbled sections without the stress and fatigue of fighting for position in the previous kilometers, being able to choose the optimal path through the cobblestones by pedaling in a much smaller group than the peloton. In fact, it is not uncommon to see some of the breakaway members in top positions and even, in some editions, like the one won by Magnus Backstedt in 2004, the winner turns out to be one of the escapees.

From kilometer 95, the incessant drip of the 29 cobbled sections that make up this Paris-Roubaix 2024 begins, totaling 55.7 kilometers of the 260 that the race consists of. The first sections are already tough and selective from the start but, usually, in the peloton they are ridden at a high pace, but without looking for attacks. In a process of wear and tear that matures the legs for the mythical Trouée d'Arenberg located at kilometer 164 of the race and which will be reached, according to the fastest speed forecast provided by the organization, around 3:00 pm.

Arenberg rarely decides the race, but it is the point where hostilities are definitively unleashed, the wheat is separated from the chaff, and not only that, it is not uncommon for a favorite to be eliminated here, right from the start due to a puncture, breakdown, fall, bad positioning, or any of the thousand things that can happen in those infernal 2,300 meters.

From there, the Paris-Roubaix becomes a test of true survival and attrition in which any incident means that assistance is usually far away to attend to the cyclist and luck becomes as important a factor as legs or tactics. In any case, the race after Arenberg usually enters a slightly calmer phase in which those who have stayed ahead try to consolidate the gaps, those who have been dropped seek to hold on to their companions or find allies to close the gap and have that extra life that allows them to get back into the race, and the escapees keep an eye out for what is coming from behind, knowing that they have the opportunity to latch onto a train that will most likely lead them to a great result.

The next hot spot is the linking of the sections D'Auchy à Bersée and Mons en Pévèle, rated as 4 and 5 stars respectively, and which are often chosen to launch a winning attack from afar. Whether it succeeds or not, the race usually ends up reduced to a small group of chosen ones who set their sights on the final part of the race, where another new linking of sections, Camphin en Pévèle and the famous Carrefour de L'Arbre usually decide the winner of the race in a fierce battle.

How to watch the Paris-Roubaix 2024

Eurosport will provide coverage of the Hell of the North. We will be able to follow the race in its entirety from 10:30 a.m. on its Eurosport 1 channel as well as on its digital platform.



Subscribe to our newsletter and receive all our news. Mountain bike, advice on training and maintenance of your bike, mechanics, interviews ...

You will be aware of everything!

¿Prefieres leer la versión en Español?

París-Roubaix 2024: dónde ver gratis, horarios y favoritos


Você prefere ler a versão em português?

París-Roubaix 2024: chega a Clássica das Clássicas


Préférez-vous lire la version en français?

Paris-Roubaix 2024: arrive la Classique des Classiques