Change of run-up that would slow down riders coming to Trouée d'Arenberg is being discussed

Safety of the riders is currently a hot topic in the cycling world. For example, the organization of the Tour of Flanders removed some dangerous parts of the course, while over at Dwars door Vlaanderen, they caused a massive crash. There are also some sore points in Paris-Roubaix. One of these is the Trouée d'Arenberg.

Famous five-star sector Trouée d'Arenberg is one that is often decisive in Paris-Roubaix. However it can also become very dangerous for the riders who arrive at the rough cobblestones at 60 kph. Dylan van Baarle, for example, fell hard last year and was therefore unable to defend his title. At the insistence of the riders' union, a campaign is now underway to make the run-up to the stretch less intense and dangerous, L'Équipe reports.

The idea is to include a few chicanes in the run-up to the forest: a kind of bend network should then be formed, so that riders do not have to arrive at 60, but at 35 kilometers per hour. Thierry Gouvenou, course designer of the Tour de France, among others, understands this wish all too well. "I have ridden here twelve times and twelve times I ended in a hole in Arenberg and wondered how I would get out," the Frenchman also remembers.

"The principle is to find corners to slow down and lengthen the peloton, a bit like the chicane system on car circuits," Gouvenou continues. "And that would actually increase the difficulty of the stretch, because the riders arrive without momentum." Gouvenou also sees another function for the braking phase and the lane making differences in a more honest way. He indicates that riders have been consulted and that they would rather slow down than rush up the lane at 60 km/h. It remains to be seen whether local authorities will approve this adjustment.

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