It’s Paris-Roubaix weekend, the Queen of the Classics, the ‘Hell of the North’. This is the toughest, baddest race of the season. If it were introduced today, Health & Safety committees across Europe would object. But with the history the race has, it remains a centre piece, season after season illustrating why only the hardest of the hard riders enter, let alone compete to win. To win you must be a man of steel, a man without fear and a man who accepts pain as part of life.
The cobbles at Paris-Roubaix are like none other raced in the season, the size of bread loaves these brutes are rough, uneven and filled with gaps to leave only one way to race over them – flat out.
George Hincapie was a man who accepted all of the above. In the 2006 edition, he demonstrated that it is not always the riders which are unable to cope with the demands of this race.
Whatever happens at the 2014 Paris Roubaix, don’t bet against Cancellara taking a fourth victory.