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February 19, 2021
As the go-to destination for creatives and cyclists alike, acknowledging the remarkable origins of sport can be awe-inspiring. While it's difficult to pick a favorite race, we wanted to highlight the inspiration behind a few of our favorite Spring Classic Tees.
Fingers crossed, the 2021 Paris-Roubaix will take place without any issues. Unlike other classic races, spring races are distinguished by wildly unforgiving terrain and intimately troublesome cobblestone roads. Luckily, for us viewers, big teams can’t dull the excitement by holding back to limit their losses. The terrain, aggressive spirit, and unforgiving spring weather should make for a spectacular display you won’t want to miss.
One of the most exciting Spring Classic races following the Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders is Paris-Roubaix. Coined ‘Hell of the North’, this murderous one-day race starts in the Paris area and finishes in Roubaix near the Belgium border. Paris-Roubaix is one of the oldest races on the ‘Monuments’ calendar. It was first run in 1896, created by two Roubaix textile designers Théodore Vienne and Maurice Perez.
Since its inception, brief pauses in racing took place during both world wars and then in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time, the 2021 Paris-Roubaix will include a women's race which is a welcomed addition to the iconic race.
The race itself includes 30 sectors of pavé or 54.5km of cobblestone, which is roughly a fifth of the entire race. Astoundingly, the Paris-Roubaix cobblestone route adds a level of increased difficulty even compared to the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem.
Like many of the Spring Classics, there are technical stretches of the race that often make or break a rider's day. First, is the Arenberg Forest -- a section of cobblestone road under large overstretching trees that riders enter at upwards of 60k/m speeds. Just ask Philippe Gaumont, who in 2001, broke his femur at the entrance of the forest while leading the peloton.
If you're lucky enough to get through the Arenberg Forest in a decent position, you’ll meet Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l'Arbre -- two 5/5 star difficulty sections. These cobblestone pushes often determine the leading group or sole leader.
In true Paris-Roubaix fashion, the last stretch of the race pushes the riders straight into the town's Velodrome where they complete one and a half laps of the track in front of a cheering crowd. Taking home a win at Paris-Roubaix demands a perfect balance of skill, finesse, luck, and perseverance among other things.
While it’s impossible to know who will take home the 2021 victory, be sure to keep an eye on Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff, Greg Van Avermaet, Ian Stannard, and John Degenkolb. As the start of Paris-Roubaix quickly approaches, don’t hide your excitement, wear it! Explore our Spring Classic Collection which includes a variety of stylish Paris-Roubaix apparel.
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