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The 27 cobblestone sectors of Paris-Roubaix

Paris-Roubaix organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced Tuesday that Christian Prudhomme, Jean-François Pescheux, and Thierry Gouvenou have evaluated the 27 sectors of cobblestones or “pavé,” and assigned a difficulty rating to each, taking into account their length, unevenness, general condition, and location on the route. In total, the riders will be faced with 52.7km of cobblestones in the 253.5km course.

A close look at the route provides clues as to where the favorites will show their hands in this unpredictable race, the third monument of the season.

The tone is set near Troisvilles and the 100-kilometer mark, when the peloton clatters over the first pavé of the day. The Quiévy, Saint-Python, and Verchain-Maugré sectors (numbered 25, 24, and 22, respectively, in decreasing number as the race runs from start to finish) follow shortly after and will also feature on stage four of this year’s Tour de France on July 7.

Then, at kilometer 158, the race’s true picture comes into focus as the riders exit one of the race’s most infamous stretches of pavé — the first five-star sector — the Trouée d’Arenberg or Arenberg Forest.

About 46 kilometers later, the peloton reaches the next five-star sector, Mons-en-Pévèle. If that doesn’t help decide the race, the fearsome Carrefour de l’Arbre, at 236.5km may make the final cut.

Govenou said that the Carrefour de l’Arbre, the last obstacle before the Roubaix velodrome, presents an even more rugged challenge in 2015 than 12 months ago. “With time, the Carrefour de l’Arbre has got harder and harder. In terms of difficulty, it’ll be right up there with the Arenberg Forest this year. Over the whole sector, I don’t think there’s a single level cobblestone.”

The 27 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix

27. Troisvilles (98.5km – 2,200m) +++
26. Viesly (105km – 1,800m) +++
25. Quievy (108km – 3,700m) ++++
24. Saint-Python (112.5km – 1,500m) ++
23. Vertain (120.5km – 2,300m) +++
22. Verchain-Maugré (130km – 1,600m) +++
21. Quérénaing – Maing (133.5km – 2,500m) +++
20. Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (136.5km – 1,600m) +++
19. Haveluy (149.5km – 2,500m) ++++
18. Trouée d’Arenberg (158km – 2,400m) +++++
17. Wallers – Hélesmes (a.k.a. Pont Gibus) (164km – 1,600m) +++
16. Hornaing (170.5km – 3,700m) ++++
15. Warlaing – Brillon (178km – 2,400m) +++
14. Tilloy – Sars-et-Rosières (181.5km – 2,400m) ++++
13. Beuvry-la-Forêt – Orchies (188km – 1,400m) +++
12. Orchies (193km – 1,700m) +++
11. Auchy-lez-Orchies – Bersée (199km – 2,700m) ++++
10. Mons-en-Pévèle (204.5km – 3,000m) +++++
9. Mérignies – Avelin (210.5km – 700m) ++
8. Pont-Thibaut (214km – 1,400m) +++
7. Templeuve – Moulin de Vertain (220km – 500m) ++
6. Cysoing – Bourghelles (226.5km – 1,300m) +++ / Bourghelles – Wannehain (229km – 1,100m) +++
5. Camphin-en-Pévèle (233.5km – 1,800m) ++++
4. Le Carrefour de l’Arbre (236.5km – 2,100m) +++++
3. Gruson (238.5km – 1,100m) ++
2. Hem (245.5km – 1,400m) ++
1. Roubaix (252km – 300m) +

(+ denotes difficulty on a scale of one to five stars, five being the hardest. Each sector links to the related Strava segment.)

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