I rode the Paris-Roubaix sportif weekend before last (one fall, one mechanical, some minor flesh wounds - result!) and now have even more respect for the people who actually race it...
In the sportif, you could at least choose a reasonable line across the cobbles most of the time apart from overtaking. In the race the poor sods at the back and sides of the peleton must be running into holes the size of their bikes in places. If the race is Hell then the sportif is just a stint in Purgatory.
On the plus side, the showers at Roubaix velodrome have hot water these days so I didn't have to re-enact Eddie Merckx' ice cold shower scene...
For anyone that didn't catch it last week, A Sunday in Hell is still available on BBC iplayer for 3 more days. Some great riders inc. Merckx and Moser (and beautiful bikes!) in their prime.
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