This page was last updated Thu 05 January 2017.

Contents: Tours (1)   

Reports by Simon Barnes

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours

Paris-Roubaix 21-23 April 2001
by Simon Barnes, tour started April 2001

This is my account of a trip to France to ride the Paris Roubaix race route. Being an ex- amateur racing cyclist and a devoted fan of cycle racing it has always been an ambition of mine and having spent many years watching the race on Eurosport I finally decided to give it a go. The route was plotted on a map from Internet race route details and constant study of video coverage. My brother Jong agreed to join me and my girlfriend Allison agreed to act as our `back up' vehicle. We rode standard race bikes with 700c x 23 tyres (Kevlar). Mine is equipped with carbon forks and Jong's with steel straight forks and apart from routine maintenance we set off with no special precautions.

The 2001 edition of the race was run off the previous weekend in absolute hellish conditions and we were afraid that we would encounter the same. The week before we went was accompanied with strong cold Northerly winds and constant downpours of hail and sleet so I was very nervous. The race is steeped in legend, `Hell of the North' etc but in fact is a very pleasant and interesting route (when dry!) and is virtually untouched by traffic beyond Bohain. We enjoyed it immensely and I would recommend it but unless you are a real purist like me then don't bother with the Compiegne - St Quentin leg.