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Arenberg trench shorter for Paris-Roubaix 2019, technically

Remeasuring shows iconic pave secteur to be 100m shorter than believed

Joe Robinson
12 Feb 2019

The treacherous Arenberg Trench cobblestone secteur will be 100m shorter at Paris-Roubaix this year despite not a single piece of pave being touched.

A recent remeasuring of the five-star section found the arrow-straight road to be 2,300m long as opposed to the previously believed 2,400m. Despite being shorter, it does not lose any of its imposing nature and will still offer the first substantial test of Paris-Roubaix this spring.

The Trouee d'Arenberg has been a topic of discussion for organisers this winter as ASO and volunteer group Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix considered filling sections of the iconic road with mortar to increase safety.

The Paris-Roubaix organisation unveiled this year's route with it remaining largely unchanged from 2018 as it retains the 54.5km of cobblestones within the 257km race. 

The biggest change will be the reintroduction of the Verchain-Maugré two-star secteur falling at 130km into the race and distancing 1.2km in length. 

Troisvilles will retain its status as the first section of cobbles faced albeit with a shorter distance of 900m compared to the 2.2km covered in 2018. Sectuer 2 at Biastre will also face change as it is renamed 'Secteur Pavé Michael Goolaerts' in memory of the late rider. 

The Belgian tragically died after suffering a heart attack at Biastre during the race in 2018 which has led the organisers to rename the secteur and unveil a monument at the site in honour of Goolaerts.

The finale of the race remains unchanged with the passing of the four-star Camphin-en-Pévèle and five-star Carrefour de l'Arbe within the final 25km, usual points of attack.

In 2018, the winning move came as Peter Sagan attacked a group of favourites with 54km remaining. Shaking of the likes of Greg van Avermaert and Sep Vanmarcke, he eventually caught Jelle Wallays and Silvain Dilier from the day's breakaway.

While Wallays was unable to stay with a rampaging Sagan, Dillier managed to keep pace riding with the World Champion all the way to the Roubaix Velodrome. The race was won comfortably by Sagan who outsprinted Dillier to take a second career Monument.