From narrowing the approach to no Arenberg at all: Six ways to solve Paris-Roubaix's trench problem

The Hell of the North will take a slightly different approach to the Arenberg pavé this year. Here are our alternatives

Arenberg forest in Paris-Roubaix 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images / Tim De Waele)

It probably hasn't escaped your attention that the run-in to the notorious stretch of cobbles at Arenberg in this year's Paris-Roubaix is going to be different.

Having listened to the concerns of riders, race organiser ASO – which also heads up the Tour de France as well as numerous other prestigious events including Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné – has inserted a fairly major chicane immediately ahead of the entrance to the pavé.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.