Paris-Roubaix is one of the most iconic races on the UCI’s calendar. The Queen of the Classics is a race like no other with its pan flat route across northern France peppered with rough, cobblestone roads. In dry weather it is the greatest test of man and machine, in bad weather it becomes almost impossible.

Each year the classics riders line up in Compiegne, just outside of Paris, to tackle the 257km race run by ASO and the many challenges it throws at them and their equipment. Sir Bradley Wiggins has made this year’s race a target, but having only ridden the event three times before may struggle to compete with the likes of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Tom Boonen (OmegaPharma-Quickstep) and other specialist classics riders.

There are 28 sectors of pavé in this year’s race ranging from 300m to 3.7km in length. The first stretch comes at Troisvilles to Inchy, 97.5km in to the race. This is sector ’28’ as they count down through the race. The final sector is the shortest and comes in the last kilometre. While the route does undergo subtle changes there are sectors of pavé that are always used. The feared 2.4km Trouée d’Arenberg comes after 161.5km while Carrefour de l’Arbre at 2.1km comes after 240km and often plays a key role.

Official website | Official twitter feed | Startlist

Key riders: Tom Boonen | Fabian Cancellara | Peter Sagan | Geraint Thomas

Previous editions: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Cyclists from MTN-Qhubeka on stage four of the 2015 Tour of Qatar (Photo: Watson)

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