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Paris-Roubaix cobbles get colour-coded difficulty ratings

Josh Cunningham
3 Apr 2017

Colour of gantry over sector start corresponds to its difficulty

The cobblestone sectors of Paris-Roubaix have in recent years been marked with a gantry over the start, showing the sector number and name, but new for 2017 is a colour-coding system that indicates the sector difficulty too.

The new system was revealed this morning during a media day, attended by race director Christian Prudhomme, at the infamous Trouee d'Arenberg sector.

The cobbles have had a star rating to indicate their difficulty since Prudhomme introduced the system in 2014, but now the riders will have a clear visual representation of what lays ahead of them as they begin each of the 29 sectors. 

One-star sectors will have a yellow gantry above the road, while blue, orange and red denote two, three and four-star sectors respectively.

Five-star sectors, of which there are only three (Mons en Pevele, Carrefour de l'Arbre and Trouee d'Arenberg) will have a black gantry over the sector start.

The 2017 Paris-Roubaix's cobbled sectors total 55km, over a total race distance of 257km.

There are some small changes from previous years in that two new additions, Briastre and Solesmes, will appear as sector 25 and 26 near the start of the race.

It is the first time they have been used since 1987.

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