Tomorrow’s Paris Roubaix, the “Queen of the Classics,” is the one road race that undoubtedly captures the most attention from the cyclocross world.
It captivates the mindshare of cyclocross fans, cyclocross racers, and even cyclocross gear manufacturers. While many of us make it the spring classic we especially tune in to watch as fans, cyclocross racers and dual-discipline athletes also often circle the date on the calendar and make it a spring focus.
1975 Cyclocross World Champion Roger De Vlaeminck won the race four times and earned the nickname Mr. Paris Roubaix (a record Tom Boonen is trying to break tomorrow), while Sven Nys, Lars van der Haar, Lars Boom and Zdenek Stybar have all taken the start, with mixed success.
Fans certainly still wonder what could have been if Stybar’s debut race wasn’t disrupted by a fan in 2013, but he’d get a bit of redemption and go on to take second in 2015.
Cyclocross equipment geeks historically have had a lot to tune in to see as well, with racers often opting for inline cyclocross brake levers up top, or full-on cyclocross bikes for better tire and mud clearance.
In celebration and preparation for tomorrow’s classic, we’ve got a few videos below to get you and your fat pavé tires pumped up (but only to about 60 psi).
“If you are going through hell, keep going,” said Winston Churchill, but that’s easier said than done. This video is perhaps the best three-minute sample of what riding Paris Roubaix is really like, with onboard footage from the rider’s perspective:
Caméra embarquée / Onboard camera – Paris… by tourdefrance
Want a visual history lesson? Amaury Sport Organisation, the owners of Le Tour de France and Paris Roubaix, have a one-minute primer and teaser:
Can’t get enough? This video by SkkuLLL titled “We Are Roubaix,” posted just a few days ago, will bring the crashes and dance music too you:
See you at the velodrome tomorrow.