‘It was just agony’: Inside the Paris-Roubaix debuts of four young Brits

Josh Tarling, Zoe Bäckstedt, Sam Watson and Alice Towers lived very different days at the Hell of the North

Collage of Josh Tarling, Zoe Bäckstedt, Sam Watson and Alice Towers at Paris-Roubaix 2023
(Image credit: Getty)

Ask any rider about Paris-Roubaix, and they'll tell you it's a race like no other. 

Some fear the cobbled Monument, namely the narrow, rugged farm tracks on which it takes place. For others, the unpredictability brings great joy.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.