A giant cobble and a plaque with your name on it in the showers – not exactly the most glamourous prizes are on offer at Paris-Roubaix, but win the Hell of the North and your name will go down in history.

With 27 sectors of rough, irregular, and potentially muddy cobblestones on the 257km route between Compiegne and Roubaix it’s a race for the real tough men of the peloton.

The bone-shaking pavé and the dusty roads of northern France have created some iconic cycling images over the past 113 editions of the race, with the cobbles turning even nastier when the rain starts falling.

Caked head to toe in mud or dust, the peloton makes its way to the Roubaix Velodrome to complete one-and-a-half laps before crossing the finish line.

If you make it to the velodrome without crashing you’ve then got to beat your rivals in a game of cat and mouse to take the sought-after crown.

In 2016, Tom Boonen will be looking to win his fifth Paris-Roubaix, while Fabian Cancellara  could join Boonen on four wins.

Tour of Flanders winner Peter Sagan goes into the race as favourite, with Sep Vanmarcke, Alexander Kristoff and Zdenek Stybar also among the main contenders.

  • llos25

    It will be some feat if Sagan wins .