Three days prior to the start of Paris Roubaix the team drove to the Arenberg forest to ride the course. From Arenberg it is roughly 100 km to the finish. Each of the 17 remaining cobbled sectors is separated by less than 10 km of tarmac. In Arenberg the race becomes relentlessly difficult—the 100 km that follow the forest are perhaps the hardest 100 km in professional cycling. The vibrations beat the cyclist’s body, his muscles are torn from the effort and his eyes burn from the dust.

The cobbles were relatively dry when we rode them although there were a few muddy sections where puddles had formed or tractors muddied the road. In the video, you can see the riders slipping and sliding on the slick sections. The crowds were already gathering in anticipation for Sunday’s race and the media was out to photograph the protagonists testing their legs and their equipment on the cobbles.

The countryside the course crosses is grim but comes alive for on race day. The video captures the fields that are open to the wind. The grey clouds which blow in from the North Sea look ominous. The spring air in northern France is damp and cold.

In an ironic twist we ended up finishing our ride with Saxo Bank, as we were both out on the parcours at the same time. There are few sports where rival teams will chat in training three days prior to the big event. In cycling, rivals are friends and there is a shared respect that somehow transcends the race. And, despite those friendships we will battle with them until the bitter end on Sunday.

Showing 23 comments
  • c
    Reply

    ouch

  • jan Coopmans
    Reply

    What a phantastic sight!

    so often I saw the broadcast from belgium tv, but to see the entering of “Wallers” from a racing point of view is thrilling!

    good luck to you all on sunday!

  • Richard Lee
    Reply

    Great video!

    After watching it my head’s still spinning. Best of luck Sunday, hoping Flecha shoots an arrow!

  • Rachel
    Reply

    awesome stuff. can’t wait for sunday. and loving your blog.

  • Ivar Bentzen
    Reply

    Awesome !
    So many spectators days prior to the event ! Looks promising, believe we could see wet conditions ……

  • sixtysix
    Reply

    Nice video!

    Great blog!

    What’s the song in the PR vid?

  • Alan
    Reply

    Nice, piles of manure right along the pave! Love the dirt flying in 720p.

  • Andrew C Fisher
    Reply

    That is amazing video footage.

    Good luck to Team Sky. Bring it home boys

  • Trevor
    Reply

    What is with the terrible music. A little on the douchy side if you ask me.

  • kramon
    Reply

    by ‘accident’ I took a picture of you riding the Arenberg cobbles. you can clearly see how ‘technically advanced’ your camera is mounted 😉

    thanks for providing such fantastic footage!

    http://tinyurl.com/y3x3z2s

  • jon newton
    Reply

    Awesome, wishing you and the team a safe and puncture free ride

  • tiger
    Reply

    The song is “Hey Boy Hey Girl” by the Chemical Brothers.

  • dave
    Reply

    Feel dizzy just watching that. How you guys do that for so long so hard. upmost respect

  • ed h
    Reply

    rock the pave michael. you can then come on back to MKE and let us know how the roads here compare!

  • J
    Reply

    Love these behind the scenes videos! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Massimo Jaboffo
    Reply

    I hope it rains… Paris-Roubaix ha ben dry for too many recent years.

  • Ian Taylor
    Reply

    And I complain about a few bloody pot holes – keep it up guys – some good work in Basque this week, sure the wins will come big and fast soon, enjoy the mud dust and cobbles!

  • JJ Smalley
    Reply

    Fantastic!

  • Michael Moné
    Reply

    Are you sure this video wasn’t shot around the Toronto, Ontario area? We had a similar day-grey, bleak, and cold, yesterday and the landscape look eerily familiar…
    Perfect choice for accompanying soundtrack!
    Good luck on Sunday, and all the best from your fans in T.O.

  • Rick Millenaar
    Reply

    Cool man! Congrats on your 26th place, and Flecha 3rd, alright! Rick, your fan from Holland

  • Dean
    Reply

    Congrats on a great race. That wind obviously made it very tough but your guy still managed 3rd. By the way, what was Flecha clapping for at the finish….not happy with Thor for some reason?

  • Brick
    Reply

    I thought the music was great, but the lyrics too repetitive. Excellent camera work and awesome scenery. Great job and thanks for posting!

  • Bryan
    Reply

    Superb video clip. Thanks for making this available. All the best for the coming season.

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