Tuesday, May 3, 2011

racing the pavé

this is part one of a three parter generously shared by tem net app on their first attempt at racing the paris - roubaix. it boggles my mind to imagine a person cycling 258 km. sorry to all you hard core riders who are scoffing at my soft ass awe but really that's a long, long way.

i'll post the next one in a handful of days and then the last one a handful after that.


  1. Looking forward to this one. The Paris-Roubaix is my favorite of "the Spring classics", those one day races that fill up the Spring cycling calendar. It is not just the 258 km, in itself a punishing distance, the cobblestone bits make it very grueling, especially at the wicked pace they take the entire course at. The winning attack typically starts far, far from the finish line. This year's race (a couple of weeks ago) was dry with no rain, but when it is wet, as in so many y years, it is absolutely wild and treacherous, with epic photos of mud caked bikders.

  2. lorenzo! i had heard about this race and of course it's not broadcast over here in noth america so this series of films has left me in awe of the riders and the support team and did i say awe? i meant astonishment and many other words beginning with the letter "a". i'm glad you're along for the ride. steven

  3. I actually had a post almost ready specifically for Paris-Roubaix Sunday, but it got filed under the "best laid plans of mice and men...". There is a cycling quote I love (don't know who said it originally) in reference to the toughness of different races and stages. Of course, we all look at the layout, the distance, climbs, cobblestone sections, to gauge how hard a day will be. But eventually, it comes down in large part to how hard the peloton and individual cyclists make it. How fast they take it. Even the Tourmalet in the Tour of France can be a relatively easy stage if they don't go at it hard (this, of course, almost never happens in the Tour on such epic stages, but does in other races). And a seemingly inconsequential flat stage can be gruelling if they bust it out from the very beginning. So for the professional cyclist, it is the cyclists that make the race hard, not so much the course itself. And the quote that I heard one commentator recall when discussing this point was of two men facing a firing squad, and one says to the other: "I'm not really scared of bullets; it's only how fast they come at us that rattles me".