Hoping for a wet and wild Paris-Roubaix? Well, that's not going to happen, with favourable winds delaying the race start by up to 20 minutes.
Cycling Central

9 Apr 2017 - 7:40 AM  UPDATED 9 Apr 2017 - 7:47 AM

Paris-Roubaix was Initially scheduled at 10.55am local French time (with pictures arriving at 7pm AEST in Australia) but the start from Compiègne will be delayed a further 15 minutes as a three-quarter tail wind is expected on a dry and very sunny Sunday in the northern France with temperatures around about 20°C.

What does that mean for Australian viewers? We should have streaming race vision available here from 7:15pm AEST, approximately.

 “Such climate conditions usually enable more riders to stay in contention”, race director Thierry Gouvenou said. “It’s harder for the top specialists to get rid of the weaker riders. More riders are motivated when it’s dry.

"They slip and crash less than on wet cobblestones sections but when they crash, they crash harder because the speed is higher. We’ve obstructed the bike path on the last cobbled section in Hem. It can help attackers who still have resources to ride away.

"On the other hand, the two new sections from Viesly to Briastre and Briastre to Solesmes [before half way into the race] are too far away to radically impact the racing.”

So in other words, a fast paced dusty race awaits the peloton and one with the potential for danger for the tired and unwary.

“It makes the race a little bit shorter, so instead of sprinting after six hours and thirty [minutes], it will be a little less than six hours," BMC's Greg van Avermaet told Velonews.

"That makes a big difference. It’s going to be fast, and it means that maybe the breakaway stays away further in the final.

"There are always circumstances that change the race, but Roubaix is a race that the strongest guys always come to the front, and then we will see what happens.”

Who will win Paris-Roubaix?
Pain, hardship and cobbles. Dust… dust that sticks to your face, your jersey, your chain and gets down your throat as you take an ill-advised gulp of air. 55 kilometres of riding over loose-fitting chunks of rock that have seen countless generations of tractors rumbling over them from nearby farming communities. Yes, it's time for Paris-Roubaix.