“How do you fancy a crack at the Paris-Roubaix sportive?”
“Seems like it could be a laugh. Let’s do it”.
8 Months later and the team of LVIS cobbled classic specialist rouleurs, made up of Rus Crofts, Johnatan Williams and Karl Hurkett were at the starting line in Busigny. The challenge was to take on all 28 Secteurs of the Queen of the Classics and still have a chuckle in typical LVIS Style.
The Paris-Roubaix Challenge route is one that on paper looks like 170km of flat Northern-France rolling with a few bits of rough cobbles. Seems alright. The helpful advice from 2 other LVIS riders who have ridden this was along the lines of “Flat. That’s funny. You have no idea what you’re letting yourselves in for!” and “Fools. Stupid fools.” We took this advice on board and just figured they were wrong.
Nothing prepares you for the full-body assault that the cobbles deliver. All three of us concluded that the cobbles don’t just shake you- they rattle your soul, right down to your core. It’s a feeling every cyclist should experience at one time in their life if only to fully admire the likes of Cancellara, Boonen et al when they take on the pro race. These are properly hard men. We spent Sunday camped on the banking of the Roubaix Velodrome watching the pro race and re-living every bit of pain from the day before.
We had mist, dust plumes, numb wrists, blurred vision and sore everything- but through it all we had an amazing time. We all finished in one piece and in true LVIS spirit rode across the finish line in the Roubaix Velodrome side by side.
We will never again complain about the state of the road surfaces in Bristol- to quote Crofty: “If you think you’ve got problems I’ve got news for you, son. I’ve got 99 Cobbles and a very sore bum! Hit Me!”