Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell (Hardcover)
"I saw them after their arrival in Roubaix, in the showers. I saw bloody fingers, bruised arms, scratched legs, ripped jerseys covered by mud. All those baggy eyes with blank expressions were no doubt still seeing the trench at Arenberg..." This is not an account of World War I. It is writer Sebastien Japrisot's appraisal of the most notorious and difficult bicycle race in the world. Nicknamed l'enfer du Nord, the Hell of the North is 260 kilometers over cobblestones, dust-covered track, and mud. This magnificent book has all of the greatest champions, their rested bodies before the race and their mud-spattered faces of anguish at the finish line. Also included are rare pictures from the 1896 inaugural race and those from after the German occupation (a blasted, barren route from which the Paris-Roubaix derived its l'enfer). Sprinkled throughout the incredible high-detail photography are the writings of journalists, racers, and political figures. Awesome gift for anyone interested in cycling. -- Cameron Carlson— From February 2012
Paris-Roubaix, a one-day bicycle race in northeastern France, is known as "The Hell of the North" for good reason. Although the course is somewhat flatter than the other spring classics, it includes interminable stretches of muddy farm roads paved with rough-hewn cobblestones. The cobbles alone are enough to shake bikes and bones to bits; throw in the notoriously fickle weather, which often includes rain, snow, and driving wind, and the course becomes downright treacherous. Held the third Sunday in April since 1896, Paris-Roubaix is a race of great tradition. The race follows a 270-kilometer course between the suburbs of the French capital and the northern industrial city of Roubaix, and its long history, coupled with its proximity to the cycling-mad triangle of northern France, Belgium, and Holland, means that it has served over the years to confirm the fame of cycling's greatest champions.
All of the history and excitement of the world's most famous one-day bicycle race is captured and comprehensively illustrated with hundreds of spectacular color and black-and-white photographs in this lavish, oversized format. With authoritative text from France's top sportswriters, Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell presents the inside story of the race, its great riders, its traditions, and its secrets.