Paris-Roubaix 2023: How to watch, what to know ahead of famed cycling event


It’s the end of the road for the Cobbled Classics season. But first, racers must meet the finish line at the “Hell of the North”, otherwise known as the 2023 Paris-Roubaix.

The Paris Roubaix is one of the oldest road cycling races in the world, with the men’s race dating all the way back to 1896. Now, 127 years later, cyclists are still traversing the course’s infamous cobblestone road that is considered one of the five prestigious “Monuments” of road cycling.

Coverage of the 2023 Paris-Roubaix begins Saturday, April 8 at 9:15 a.m. ET on Peacock. For everything you need to know for this year’s contest in the City of Light, read below.

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How to watch the 2023 Paris-Roubaix

What does this year’s course look like?

The men’s race will begin in Compiègne and the women’s in Denain, with both finish lines at the Roubaix Velodrome.

The course, as always, will be defined by the intensity of its cobblestones that comprise one-third of the final 150 km, with the men’s race amounting to a total of 256.6 km. The women’s field will ride for 145.4 km.

Last year’s battle at the Paris-Roubaix saw weather conditions that no rider wishes to endure, with a cold, steady rain pouring down on the cyclists. That memory is one that the riders likely won’t relive this year, as the weather forecasts still call for sunny skies shining upon the athletes.

What should I look for in the Paris-Roubaix men’s field?

For the men, defending champion Dylan van Baarle (Jumbo-Visma) will be making his return to the course after a two-week hiatus due to a crash at the E3 Saxo Classic. Regardless of the concerns regarding his fitness, the Dutch athlete is known to never back down from a fight.

Another big name vying for a Monument win this weekend is three-time world champion Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma), who has finished first, second, third and fourth in four Classics appearances this spring. While he heads into the 2023 Paris-Roubaix as one of the favorites, the Belgian is also tending to some injuries after crashing at last weekend’s Tour of Flanders. He will have a run for his money when put up against Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), who boasts five world championships of his own.

RELATED: Pogacar wins Tour of Flanders for the first time

A rider composed of sheer power and handling abilities, van der Poel has had a successful spring, taking first place at Milan-Sanremo and second at last weekend’s Tour of Flanders. The 28-year-old is healthy and hopeful entering the race, where he will search to improve upon his ninth place finish in 2022.

What should I look for in the Paris-Roubaix women’s field?

In just the third women’s Paris-Roubaix in history, the field is headlined by Trek-Segafrado’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who will fight to defend her title as last year’s champion. Belgian Lotte Kopecky, however, isn’t expected to be far behind in the pursuit to the finish line for a first place finish for her SD Worx team. The 27-year-old Kopecky is entering Paris off a historic performance at the Tour of Flanders, where she became the first Belgian rider to win the race twice.

Her team, SD Worx, has displayed sheer dominance throughout the spring season, picking up the win in every Cobbled Classic. The team, however, has yet to achieve victory at the hallowed Paris-Roubaix.

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Thomas sees Giro d’Italia lead cut slightly by Roglič; Buitrago wins Stage 19

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TRE CIME DI LAVAREDO, Italy — Geraint Thomas maintained his bid to become the oldest Giro d’Italia champion although his lead was cut slightly by Primož Roglič during the toughest stage of the race.

Roglič crossed the summit finish of the so-called “Queen Stage” three seconds ahead of Thomas at the end of the race’s final mountain road leg.

There were no flat sections and five tough, classified climbs on the 114-mile route from Longarone to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, which had gradients of up to 18%.

Stage 19 was won by Santiago Buitrago, who finished 51 seconds ahead of Derek Gee and 1 minute, 46 seconds ahead of Magnus Cort and Roglič, who just missed out on bonus seconds.

“I’m really happy with this victory. It was the most difficult moment of a difficult Giro for me personally,” said Buitrago, who rides for Bahrain Victorious. “I wanted to try and raise my arms before the end and coming here at Tre Cime di Lavaredo is amazing.

“This is the recompense for all the work that I’ve done. … There’s a lot of motivation for me and the whole team having seen the fruits of our labors.”

The 37-year-old Thomas, who rides for Ineos Grenadiers, is 26 seconds ahead of Roglič going into what will be a decisive penultimate stage

Third-placed João Almeida lost more time and was 59 seconds behind Thomas.

Roglič changed his bicycle shortly before the start of the penultimate climb and he made his move inside the final kilometer. However, Thomas was able to stick to his wheel and the British cyclist made his own attack in the final 500 meters and looked to have slightly distanced his rival.

But Roglič came back and gained what could be a vital few seconds.

The winner will likely be decided in the mountain time trial that ends in a demanding climb up Monte Lussari, with an elevation of over 3,000 feet and gradients of up to 22%.

“Tomorrow we go full again,” Roglič said. “It’s good. We got a bit of legs back, so tomorrow we go full, eh?

“If I wouldn’t be confident then I don’t start. The best one at the end wins.”

The race ends in a mostly ceremonial finish in Rome, where Thomas could beat the age record held by Fiorenzo Magni, who was 34 when he won in 1955.

Thomas celebrates 37th birthday by retaining Giro d’Italia lead; Roglic into 2nd

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VAL DI ZOLDO, Italy — Geraint Thomas celebrated his 37th birthday with another strong ride in the mountains to retain the pink jersey during Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia.

Thomas crossed immediately behind Primoz Roglic, who moved up from third place to second.

“The legs have been good,” Thomas said. “Need to enjoy these moments.”

Joao Almeida dropped from second to third overall after losing 21 seconds over the 100-mile route from Oderzo to Val di Zoldo, which included two first-category climbs followed by two second-category climbs in the finale – including an uphill finish.

Thomas – the 2018 Tour de France champion – leads Roglic by 29 seconds and Almeida by 39 seconds.

“It’s a pleasant day. I take time on Almeida and didn’t get dropped by Primoz,” Thomas said. “I felt pretty good, always under control but Primoz obviously went hard. It wasn’t easy. … I just want to be consistent until the end.”

Italian champion Filippo Zanna won the stage ahead of fellow breakaway rider Thibaut Pinot in a two-man sprint.

With only two more climbing stages remaining before the mostly ceremonial finish in Rome, Thomas is poised to become the oldest Giro winner in history – beating the record of Fiorenzo Magni, who was 34 when he won in 1955.

Chris Horner holds the record for oldest Grand Tour champion, set when he won the Spanish Vuelta in 2013 at 41.

However, Thomas will still be tested over the next two days.

Stage 19 is considered perhaps the race’s toughest, a 114-mile leg from Longarone to Tre Cime Di Lavaredo featuring five major climbs. Then there’s a mountain time trial.