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New section of cobbles included for 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Saint-Hilaire the newest section of pavé to be added to the 'Queen of the Classics'

Joe Robinson
19 Feb 2018

The 2018 Paris-Roubaix will feature a new 1.5km section of cobbles called Saint-Hilaire, which will slot in as section 25 of 30 on the race route.

Its inclusion was confirmed via a tweet from Amis Pairs-Roubaix, the voluntary association that protects and repairs the cobbled sections.

The new section of pave will fall just 100m after the riders finish negotiating section 26, from Quievy to Saint-Python. This means the riders will have to tackle 5.2km of cobbled roads within 5.3km, the longest stretch within the race.

Saint-Hilaire will be placed just before the Viesly to Briastre and Briastre to Solesmes sections that were included in the 2017 race, which were themselves being included for the first time since 1987.

The new section falls approximately 150km from the finish (Roubaix's cobbled sectors are numbered in reverse order), its direct impact on the race may only be limited. Traditionally the first serious moves made in the race by genuine contenders happen at Trouee d'Arenberg, some 50km further on.

With that said, the extra 1.5km of cobbles will add to the fatigue of riders further in the race further emphasising the attritional battle the peloton goes through when riding Roubaix.

This year's race will take place on Sunday 8th April. At the 2017 race, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) managed to out-sprint Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) and Sebastian Langeveld (EF-Drapac) to the title, capping off an unprecedented cobbled classics campaign.