12 pictures that show just how tough the Paris-Roubaix cobbles are

We don't need to tell you just how hard a race Paris-Roubaix is...so we thought we'd show you instead

Mons-en-Pévèle
The sector is pretty rough, with the safest place to be on the crest of the road...and even then doesn't look particularly pleasant.

These pictures of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles, taken by Strava photographer Berntrand Trichet, show just how rough, irregular and muddy the cobbles are at this time of the year.

Riding them in fine weather is hard enough, but douse them with water and the challenge grows even more, so take a look at some of the toughest of the 27 cobbled sectors in pictures.

>>> Who holds the Paris-Roubaix Strava KOMs?

Trouée d'Arenberg

The five-star segment of Trouée d'Arenberg comes relatively early in the race, with 163km to go, but can prove decisive if not given the respect it deserves.

Trouée d'Arenberg

The five-star segment of Trouée d'Arenberg comes relatively early in the race, with 163km to go, but can prove decisive if not given the respect it deserves.

Trouée d'Arenberg

Not only are the cobbles rough and uneven, the sector is a 2.4km straight road through the Arenberg Forest.

Trouée d'Arenberg

Not only are the cobbles rough and uneven, the sector is a 2.4km straight road through the Arenberg Forest.

Carrefour de l'Arbre

Another five-star segment, Carrefour de l'Arbre takes riders down a cobbled back street. Coming in the final 20km of the race it's the location of many winning attacks.

Carrefour de l'Arbre

Another five-star segment, Carrefour de l'Arbre takes riders down a cobbled back street. Coming in the final 20km of the race it's the location of many winning attacks.

Carrefour de l'Arbre

The 2.1km segment is hard enough in dry conditions, but when the cobbles are underwater it becomes even more treacherous.

Carrefour de l'Arbre

The 2.1km segment is hard enough in dry conditions, but when the cobbles are underwater it becomes even more treacherous.

Mons-en-Pévèle

The third five-star sector on the course, Mons-en-Pevele, features irregular cobbles and train tracks right across the middle.

Mons-en-Pévèle

The third five-star sector on the course, Mons-en-Pevele, features irregular cobbles and train tracks right across the middle.

Mons-en-Pévèle

The sector is pretty rough, with the safest place to be on the crest of the road...and even then doesn't look particularly pleasant.

Mons-en-Pévèle

The sector is pretty rough, with the safest place to be on the crest of the road...and even then doesn't look particularly pleasant.

Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée

When there's a sign saying the road is in a poor state, you know it's going to be hard work.

Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée

When there's a sign saying the road is in a poor state, you know it's going to be hard work.

Camphin-en-Pévèle

The renovators of the four-star Camphin-en-Pévèle will have to get the lawnmower out to get rid of the grass growing on the crest of the road.

Camphin-en-Pévèle

The renovators of the four-star Camphin-en-Pévèle will have to get the lawnmower out to get rid of the grass growing on the crest of the road.

Cysoing-Bourghelles

Rough cobbles, a bend in the road and a huge pile of manure at the side of the sector - Cysoing-Bourghelles has everything.

Cysoing-Bourghelles

Rough cobbles, a bend in the road and a huge pile of manure at the side of the sector - Cysoing-Bourghelles has everything.

Haveluy

At 2.5km, Haveluy is one of the longest of the 27 sectors, and with one side susceptible to puddles, riding in the gutter may not be possible.

Haveluy

At 2.5km, Haveluy is one of the longest of the 27 sectors, and with one side susceptible to puddles, riding in the gutter may not be possible.

Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage

In the Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage sector, the gutter looks less appealing than the road itself.

Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage

In the Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage sector, the gutter looks less appealing than the road itself.

Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage

Much of the sector looks okay, but those not able to get a place on the crest of the road, the gaps between the cobbles grows and the chance of puncturing increases.

Hornaing - Wandignies-Hamage

Much of the sector looks okay, but those not able to get a place on the crest of the road, the gaps between the cobbles grows and the chance of puncturing increases.