The 120th Paris-Roubaix race, the third men’s road cycling monument classic of the season, takes place this Sunday. (9 April). The “Hell of the North” returns to its traditional calendar slot, exactly a week after the Tour of Flanders, after being postponed by a week owing to external causes the previous year. Here’s what to expect at the 2023 Paris-Roubaix races.
How to watch Paris-Roubaix 2023 Live:
Viewers around the world can watch the action live on the following channels and here for free:
Live Broadcast: Paris-Roubaix 2023 Live
2023 Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes: Riders to watch
The race is one of the toughest and most prestigious on the calendar, as evidenced by its other nickname, the Queen of the Classics.
The third edition of the Paris-Roubaix Femmes takes place on Saturday, before to the men’s event on Sunday.
The men will begin in Compiègne, while the ladies will begin in Denain, before racing to the Roubaix Velodrome over 257km and 145km, respectively.
The race, also known as L’Enfer du Nord in France, is famously difficult to forecast. Weather, pavé conditions, unplanned punctures, and mechanical troubles are just a few of the factors that influence the race’s outcome.
The men’s race has had 11 different winners in the last 11 years. Four of them are likely to start in Compiègne: John Degenkolb (2015), Rio 2016 Olympic road race champion Greg van Avermaet (2017), three-time world champion Peter Sagan (2018), and reigning champion Dylan van Baarle (2022).
Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates, who won Flanders last weekend, has never ridden Paris-Roubaix as a senior and will again boycott the race.
That leaves Mathieu van der Poel, who finished third in 2021 and won the Milano-Sanremo last month, and 2022 runner-up Wout van Aert as the two primary favourites.
Mads Pedersen, who finished third in Flanders, Florian Vermeersch, who finished second on the cobbles in 2021, and Milano-Sanremo runner-up Filippo Ganna are among those who could place on the podium.
Lotte Kopecky leads the women’s peloton after successfully defending her Flanders championship last week.
Defending Queen Classic champion Elisa Longo Borghini returns to defend her title, although her Trek-Segafredo colleague, inaugural winner Lizzie Deignan, is absent as she returns to full training following maternity leave.
Marianne Vos, the Olympic champion from London in 2012, would surely aim to improve on her second-place finish in 2021 when she was the ‘best of the rest’ following Deignan’s spectacular 80-kilometre solo.
Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes 2023 race routes and parcours
The men’s race is an attritional 256.6km (159.4 miles) battle from Compiègne, north-northeast of Paris, to the Roubaix velodrome.
Compiègne has hosted the race’s start every year since 1977, with the exception of 2020, when there was no race; it has ended at the Roubaix Velodrome from 1943, with the exception of three years from 1986 to 1988.
This year’s race will have 29 cobbled sectors, commencing at Troisvilles roughly 100km into the course and ending just outside the Roubaix Velodrome, as tradition dictates.
The three most challenging pavé sectors are at the Trouée d’Arenberg, around 95 kilometres from the finish; Mons-en-Pévèle, 48 kilometres from the finish; and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, 17 kilometres from the finish.
The women’s race is shorter, but at 145.4km (90.4 miles), it is the longest of the three races held so far.
The Paris-Roubaix Femmes race begins in Denain, as it has on both previous occasions, with the peloton completing little over one lap of an opening circuit before proceeding north to the Roubaix Velodrome.
With 82.5km remaining in the race, the pavé at Hornaing is the first of 17 cobbled tests for the ladies, with both races sharing the same portion of the course from Hornaing to Roubaix.
For the ladies, there are two five-star cobbled tests: Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l’Arbre.
Paris-Roubaix 2023 race schedules
2023 Paris-Roubaix Femmes race schedule, 8 April
(All times local CEST, approximate after race start at average speed of 40km/h)
- 1:35pm – Départ fictif
- 1:45pm – Actual race start, Denain, 145.4km to finish
- 1:50pm – First passage of start line, Denain, 141.8km
- 2:03pm – Second passage of start line, Denain, 133.4km
- 3:19pm – First pavé sector 17 (3700m), Hornaing to Wandignies, 82.4km
- 4:10pm – Pavé sector 11 (3000m), Mons-en-Pévèle, 48.5km
- 4:57pm – Pavé sector 4 (2100m), Carrefour de l’Arbre, 17.1km
- 5:21pm – Pavé sector 1 (300m), Roubaix, 1.3km
- 5:23pm – Race finish, Roubaix Velodrome
2023 Paris-Roubaix men’s race schedule, 9 April
(All times local CEST, approximate after race start at average speed of 45km/h)
- 11:10am – Départ fictif
- 11:25am – Actual race start, Compiègne, 256.6km to finish
- 1:33pm – First pavé sector 29 (2200m), Troisvilles to Inchy, 160.3km
- 3:00pm – Pavé section 19 (2300m), Trouée d’Arenberg, 95.3km
- 3:17pm – Pavé sector 17 (3700m), Hornaing to Wandignies, 82.5km
- 4:02pm – Pavé sector 11 (3000m), Mons-en-Pévèle, 48.6km
- 4:44pm – Pavé sector 4 (2100m), Carrefour de l’Arbre, 17.1km
- 5:05pm – Pavé sector 1 (300m), Roubaix, 1.4km
- 5:07pm – Race finish, Roubaix Velodrome
Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes: Previous race winners
The previous women’s winners are:
- 2021: Elizabeth Deignan (GBR), Trek-Segafredo
- 2022: Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), Trek-Segafredo
The last five men’s winners were:
- 2017: Greg van Avermaet (BEL), BMC Racing
- 2018: Peter Sagan (SVK), Bora-Hansgrohe
- 2019: Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Deceuninck-Quick-Step
- No race in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and restrictions
- 2021: Sonny Colbrelli (ITA), Bahrain Victorious
- 2022: Dylan van Baarle (NED), INEOS Grenadiers