British Movistar rider Alex Dowsett is amazingly providing live updates from inside the race, as he rides along

Alex Dowsett is giving live insight into what it is like to ride in Paris-Roubaix, providing a stream of tweets on his experience in the Hell of the North.

The British 28-year-old Movistar rider was one of a selection of riders attempting to get into an early escape group as the pace was kept high in dry, sunny conditions in northern France.

“BAM, giving the break a go, sprint sprint sprint, look behind, 50 guys have the same idea. Need to be smart about this,” it said on his Twitter account.

Dowsett will have to be incredibly careful to cling on to his mobile device and aim his typing finger carefully as the race hits the rough cobbled roads for which is it famed – despite hoping that team-mate Jasha Sutterlin had “packed down a smooth path” during his recon of the race as he is “80kg of German tattooed muscle”.

Dowsett later revealed exactly how he was tweeting from the race later: he scheduled the messages the night before, as he was having a massage.

And anyway… UCI road race regulation 2.2.024 stipulates that you’re not supposed to use a mobile communication device during a race other than an approved race radio. Luca Paolini was famously spotted using a mobile during the 2014 Tour de France, and was fined 50CHF (£34).

>>> LIVE: Paris-Roubaix 2017 – follow every moment of the Hell of the North

Dan Craven enlivened coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games road race with a series of live in-race tweets from his account. It later transpired that it was his partner Collyn Ahart providing the entertaining social media insight.

Paris-Roubaix is generally perceived as the biggest one-day race on the calendar. It takes place over 257 kilometres, incorporating 29 cobbled sectors that account for around 55km of the route. You can follow the entire 2017 Paris-Roubaix with our live text updates.

Dowsett took his first win of the 2017 season last week, claiming the individual time trial stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe.