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Paris Roubaix

AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
edited February 2014 in Pro race
I'm thinking about going out to PR this year, as it looks like I'm going to be on tour the week the Tour is in the UK.

I'm wondering if anyone has been before or is going this year? I'd like some advice on where is the best areas to head to etc.

If this isn't the right forum mod's please feel free to move it.


  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 53,383 Lives Here
    Yeah fine. Greasedscotsman is your man for all things pr related.
  • dsoutardsoutar Posts: 1,746
    Roubix - that's a cube, innit ?? :lol:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Yeah fine. Greasedscotsman is your man for all things pr related.

    Thanks Rick, I will send him a PM.

    Damn about the spelling.
  • Yup, been a few time and will be going again this year! :D

    2014 route isn't out yet, but based on the 2013 route (don't think it will change much) I would suggest starting at Troisville, the first sector of the race. Route cross the D643 here...

    Plenty of place to park, easy to get to, easy to get away from. From there it depends on how ambitious you want to be. 3 or 4 is easy enough or you could just play it safe and go to a couple of other places. Depends on what you want to see. Sars-et-Rosières and Brillon are just off the A23, Ennevelin is another good one. I would avoid Arenberg. To get there is easy enough, but to really see some action, rather than just watch 3 rows back over someone's head, you need to walk further into the forest. Not worth it in my opinion. Better to go to other places where you can see more and have more time to get to the next sector.

    Haven't been to the finish for a few years, but I think you can still get into the velodrome easy enough. I've tended to go to the Carrefour de l'Arbre instead. Oh and the start is pretty easy to. The teams assemble in a square in Compiegne, but a good number of teams park outside, so a good opportunity for photos and autographs if that's your thing.

    How long are you planning on going? Just the weekend? I would suggest, if possible, the best thing to do is head over on the Thursday, watch the teams out on the course doing their recce on the Friday, ride a few sectors on the Saturday and maybe do your own race recce in the afternoon so you know where your going on the Sunday.

    Oh and I think you can edit the spelling in the title... :D
  • Happy New Year everybody.

    I've been to PR the last 2 years. Drove over the Friday evening, stayed in Lille, had day out on the ale Saturday, went to the race Sunday. On race day, drove to Trouee d' Arrenberg. Parked up on Bld des Mineurs (D313) facing motorway A23. Got there in plenty time. Big screens, hot dogs, local brass band, plenty of t.v. presenters filiming the cobbles. You can walk some way up the Trouee. When the race passes get back to the car and head up to Roubaix on the A23. If your brave, you can park up on the motorway and watch the race go through the Carrefour. It criss crosses over and under the motorway.

    You can get fairly close the velodrome, and park up on street in Roubaix. The velodrome is very old school. It is open and free to get in. Lots of locals turn up as the race approaches. (it is in a very ethnic mixed area so it can be quite surreal and very friendly). There is a big screen. I think we got there with c. 30km to go last year so plenty of time. Last year's finish was more Hoy v. Bouge than Paris Roubaix.

    Lots of access to teams and busses at the end. Better half was well impressed with washing machines under the busses, I liked the idea of someone taking a pressur hose to your dirty bike.

    There is time to get back for Chunnel if needs must after the race.

    Well worth it.
  • it is in a very ethnic mixed area so it can be quite surreal

    that`s a polite way to put it so if you`ve always wanted to be stabbed , robbed or both at the same time spend a night wandering the streets of Roubaix at night.

    If you get there the day before and have time and your bike with you , pop into the velodrome and if you ask nicely they`ll let you have a play round it for a while.
  • Get to the Velodrome in PLENTY of time. You can get in free but getting a decent spot is a different thing
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Thanks so far guys. Few questions.

    Is it essential to drive to get about, or can I use other methods.

    Has anyone went on their own before?
  • It's not essential to drive about the route if you don't want to, depends on what you want to see. One race sighting is easy enough, just bike out to see what you want. The only problem there might be the weather. It should be possible to see it a couple of times though. You could see the race at Cysoing and then cut across on the D90 to see the race at the Carrefour de l’Arbre. I'm sure there are others that are possible.

    And yes, I've been to see it on my own lots of times. I've been 11 times, first 4 times I went with a tour company and then realised that actually it wasn't that difficult to do and have done my own thing since.
  • sjmclean wrote:

    Is it essential to drive to get about, or can I use other methods.

    Has anyone went on their own before?

    Arrenberg Trench is only 10km from the centre of Valenciennes, which you can probably get to by train. Other non car options might be getting on a bus. Never done this but plenty of groups of well oiled Belgians seem to turn up on coaches.
  • Thanks for this info. everyone. Could anyone who's been before advise me a little further? I'm hoping to nip over quickly with my bike, stay in Lille on the Fri. & have a bit of a ride-about on Sat., then watch the race on Sun. Since I'm on the bike I'll only be able to watch from one viewing point and want to see some cobble action (Arenberg forest?) -- is there a good place to find a spot where there's also a big screen and/or bar to watch the rest of the race? I don't fancy pedalling along to catch up with it! Also, is it feasible to have a bike with me at all? Thanks!
  • Yup, no reason not to see it on a bike. I did when I went in 2005. I was staying in Hem, rode out to the Carrefour de l’Arbre to see the juniors and then rode along the route to see the main race to Hem. As I said before, the biggest problem could be the weather, it is April in northern France after all. Although shouldn't be a problem if you take plenty of the right sort of clothing. Oh and maybe take a lock as well.

    Oneof1982 said there were TV screens at Arenberg. It's a long time since I've been there to see the race, but you could always head to somewhere like Wallers or Hasnon to find a bar afterwards.

    I would suggest a better place to go if you are biking from Lille is Cysoing and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, you can see the race twice there. Also Arenberg is too far from the finish to have any great affect on the race. Why not go to the Carrefour and be right in on the action at the end of the race? Never seen any big TV screens there though, your best bet would be to head back to Cysoing and find a bar. Maybe something you could recce on the Saturday.
  • Wow: thanks so much, greasedscotsman! I think I'll head for Cysoing and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, then -- sounds like a better of option for catching the excitement, and looks a lot more practical as well (whether the weather...). Thanks again!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 53,383 Lives Here
    Yeah fine. Greasedscotsman is your man for all things pr related.

    Told ya ;)
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