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Cobblestone countdown: Paris-Roubaix sectors being repaired ahead of ‘Hell of the North’

'Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix' is fixing up the fearsome Mons-en-Pévèle sector ahead of Paris-Roubaix weekend April 16-17.

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Even the harsh pavé of Paris-Roubaix needs a little love sometimes.

Key cobblestone sectors are receiving crucial maintenance work as the countdown to the men’s and women’s “Hell of the North” clicks into its final five weeks.

“Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix” – the organization on a mission to preserve the cluttered cobblestone strips mazing through northeast France – have been busy fixing up the five-star Mons-en-Pévèle in recent days.

Gallery: The bleak brutality of Paris-Roubaix’s pavé

The fearsome Mons-en-Pévèle sector is ranked as one of the hardest in both Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Only the infamous Carrefour de L’Arbre and Trouée d’Arenberg bone-rattlers are as brutal.

The 3km Pévèle often marks the gateway to the race’s final throwdown as a result of its situation just 50km from Roubaix’s velodrome. It’s the sector that founded Mat Hayman’s against-all-odds victory in 2016, and that saw Fabian Cancellara drop last-standing limpet Björn Leukemans in 2010.

“Les Amis” will no doubt be busy in the weeks ticking down to the April 16-17 Roubaix weekend. And with the Tour de France set to take on a series of the punishing pavé strips this July, they’ll likely be busy all through summer too.

But don’t worry, the so-called “Friends of Paris-Roubaix” won’t be making the cobblestones too friendly.