Some sections of cobbles at Paris-Roubaix have needed to be repaired after fans lifted cobblestones out of the road to take home as race souvenirs.
Pictures posted on Twitter by Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix (The Friends of Paris-Roubaix), a voluntary organisation which takes responsibility for maintaining the cobbles used in the race, showed the damage caused by fans ripping up cobbles for mementos.
Thankfully Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix have a store of replacement cobblestones, choosing those which best match the existing cobblestones in the sector and using them to repair the damage caused by fans to make sure that the famous pavé is safe to ride for amateurs and professionals.
While in most years the volunteers may have been able to take a well-earned rest after Paris-Roubaix, they also have a second major race to prepare for in 2018 with stage nine of the Tour de France taking in 15 cobbled sectors on the road between Arras and Roubaix.
The organisation has already had to work hard in the run up to Paris-Roubaix, cleaning lots of mud off a key sector at Haveluy after rain and wet weather had hit north-eastern France in the two week prior to the race.
Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix has thousands of members around the world having been set up in the 1980s to maintain the character of Paris-Roubaix after many other races had moved from using cobbled roads to smoother tarmacked roads.
The association works with local authorities to maintain the cobbled sectors, which are often just used by agricultural vehicles travelling between fields for the rest of the year.
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