Friday, 11 April 2014

Here it is. First UCI Nation Cup race and the biggest classic of all (and actually the only one day race rated as Ncup category), The Paris Roubaix. What's the biggest difference between Ncup events and the rest ? We have national teams instead of clubs. So no more fifty French guys, another fifty from Belgium and some from the other nations. It's six riders for each country to fight for a win. 

Le Carrefour de l'Arbre

 Paris Roubaix for juniors is only 110km long ("only" in comparision to the elite of course) but it's uncommonly hard with sixteen cobbled sections with all the biggest ones known from elite version, except famous Arenberg. To be more specific, the last sixteen sections from elite race are the same as in juniors with a total of 28,9km of cobbles. So our young riders will tackle only 110km instead of over 250 but the cobbles are almost as hard as the ones from elite race. 
Here you can find a race map and the list of cobbled sections: Map

The most important cobbles: 

16. Hornaing 3700m 82,3km from the finish 
15. Warlaing - Brillon 2400m -74,8km 
11. Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée 2600m -53,9km 
10. Mons-en-Pevele 3000m -48,5km 
6. Cysoing 1300m -26,7km 
5. Camphin-en-Pevele 1800m -19,7km 
4. Le Carrefour de l'Arbre 2100m -17km 

 Like in the elite race, every section is important but the decisive ones will probably be Mons en Pevele (selecion) and Le Carrefour de l'Arbre (final attacks). 

Last year's podium trio on velodrome in Roubaix

 Last year we had a sprint finish from three: Mads Pedersen, Tao Hart and Nathan Van Hooydonck won by the Dane. The trio got away on famous Carrefour de l'Arbre and decided the race in sprint. Damien Touze, first year junior at the time, came fourth and could be one of the favorities for this year's race.

Impressive past winners list: 

 Notable starters: Damien Touze (4th last year), Theo Nicolas, Nikolay Cherkasov, Casper Pedersen, James Shaw, Mitchell Cornelissen, Patrick Muller, Kristoffer Halvorsen (7th last year), Erlend Blikra, Lukas Eriksson (14th last year), Charlie Arimont, Emiel Planckaert, Filippo Ganna.


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