Teams practise on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles ahead of Sunday’s big race

Many of the teams in the field for Paris-Roubaix on Sunday took advantage of a free day on their calendars to practise on the cobbles ahead of the race

With the 2016 Paris-Roubaix getting ever nearer, teams used their free day on Thursday to get out on the course and get some last minute practice on the fabled cobbles.

1. Giant-Alpecin may be missing their reigning champion, John Degenkolb, but they won’t be holding back in Sunday’s race.

2. Astana mechanics worked on Lars Boom’s bike before he and his team hit the cobbles, including the 12th sector at Auchy-lez-Orchies

3. Ag2r La Mondiale were active at the Tour of Flanders, getting Hugo Houle in the day’s breakaway and they’ll be looking for a strong result at Paris-Roubaix.

5. LottoNL-Jumbo soigneur Dmitri Van Boxstael got this great shot of the Arenberg cobbles.

6. Lotto-Soudal’s photographer was also on the Arenberg, taking photos of the grassy area of the cobbles.

7. BMC‘s squad was decimated at the Tour of Flanders in a crash that left leader Greg Van Avermaet with a broken collarbone.

8. Wildcards Fortuneo-Vital Concept will probably be looking to get a rider in the breakaway on Sunday, who could hit the Arenberg at the head of the race.

9.  It’s not just the riders who look forward to Paris-Roubaix – the press were also out in their droves to watch Katusha get ready.

10. And the Katusha team were out with Johan Museeuw, who knows this area pretty well.

11. Jasper Stuyven has form in the Hell of the North, having won the junior version back in 2010. Here’s a first person view of his ride across the Arenberg whilst training for Sunday’s race, where he will form an integral part of the Trek-Segafredo team as it looks to take Fabian Cancellara to his fourth victory.

12. Team Tinkoff got out on the Paris-Roubaix course for a final recon on Friday morning, with world champion Peter Sagan leading his teammates across promisingly dry cobbles, although the puddles of water at the side of the road don’t bode well for riders hoping to sneak past through the gutter.

13. Etixx-Quick Step were also out on the road early on Friday – and they were joined by some unexpected faces, with four riders from the Direct Energie team (one of whom appeared to be Sylvain Chavanel) clearly visible at the back of the Etixx train.