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Paris-Roubaix organiser left with one week to remove tarmac after Arenberg mistakenly resurfaced

A miscommunication with the local council means the famous trench is now a perfectly smooth road

With just a week until Paris-Roubaix, the organiser of the cobbled Monument has been left scrambling for a solution after the infamous Trouee d’Arenberg was completely resurfaced with fresh tarmac.

The discovery was made early this morning by Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix. The volunteer group, which takes care of the secteurs across the length of the race’s route, had arrived at the iconic location to relay some cobbles near the trench’s start only to find they’d been beaten to it.

It’s thought that a miscommunication between Les Amis, the race’s route planners and representatives from the local authority led to the disastrous mix-up.

It would appear that the notification of the relaying of the cobbles was taken as a request for surface laying, which the local authority quickly and efficiently went about sorting.

Those in charge of Paris-Roubaix are now trying to get the tarmac removed from the trench without also bringing up its cobbles. The delicate task will begin immediately, but it won’t be known for some time whether it can be sorted before the race.

Jean-Marie Trompe, local councillor of Wallers, the town close to Arenberg, commented on the miscommunication.

'We had been in communication with Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix over the preparation of the cobblestones ahead of the Paris-Roubaix race.

'We had found it strange that a request had been filed by Les Amis and the race organiser for resurfacing of the cobbles but because of not much time, we proceeded in covering the Trouee.

‘Of course, so soon to the race this is a problem but we hope it should not affect the race too much.'

For some real news about the 2018 Paris-Roubaix, see our extensive coverage:

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Paris-Roubaix 2018: Who are the favourites and who should you be backing?   
Rebuilding Roubaix: How the keepers of the cobbles preserve cycling’s most famous landscape   
A day on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles   
All you need to know about the 2018 Spring Classics: Monuments, cobbles and live TV guide