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  1. #1
    Wind Breaker Bruco's Avatar
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    Adieu Arenberg :-(

    The infamous stretch of 'steentjes' through the Arenberg/Waller forest will NOT be included in this year's Paris-Roubaix. According to the race organisers, this piece of the traditional iterinary has deteriorated so much, that it's no longer safe for the riders. They don't rule out, however, that the Arenberg will return in future editions of the Classic after some 'maintenance'.
    Waakzame Vingers
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  2. #2
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    Sad news.....they should "fix it", like they did for the Koppenberg and the Muur in Flanders.

    The Foret d'Arenberg is about the only bit of footage that makes it into a 15 second sports grab on our major TV networks here.....now what are they gunna show??

  3. #3
    Wind Breaker Bruco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed073
    Sad news.....they should "fix it", like they did for the Koppenberg and the Muur in Flanders.
    Well, I humbly rode up the Muur in last year's tourist version of Omloop Het Volk. It wasn't really about cobbles. (True, it was dry that day and I don't develop significant uphill speed to suffer from the pavement. The issue with the Muur is the gradient. ) So they should be careful not to 'over-fix' it.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruco
    Well, I humbly rode up the Muur in last year's tourist version of Omloop Het Volk. It wasn't really about cobbles. (True, it was dry that day and I don't develop significant uphill speed to suffer from the pavement. The issue with the Muur is the gradient. ) So they should be careful not to 'over-fix' it.

    I love that hill. So much history.

  5. #5
    Wind Breaker Bruco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed073
    The Foret d'Arenberg is about the only bit of footage that makes it into a 15 second sports grab on our major TV networks here.....now what are they gunna show??
    You are being deprived... Such mistreatment of the Classics sucks. That puts my complaints about Dutch television race coverage in perspective. I will not go into further detail, for I wouldn't want to gouge out your eyes...
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruco
    You are being deprived... Such mistreatment of the Classics sucks. That puts my complaints about Dutch television race coverage in perspective. I will not go into further detail, for I wouldn't want to gouge out your eyes...


    I know, I know....when I stayed in Hilversum I was madly taping everything that came on TV....Amstel, Dutch Champs, Belgian Champs, Tour de France, ENECO Tour etc etc.....because I knew when I got home each year, it would be a cycling desert on TV.

    Cricket
    AFL
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    that's it.

  7. #7
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    I was in Holland during the Olympics, and I was impressed with their TV coverage of the road race because it appeared to be uninterrupted. Nobody seemed to mind that I was standing in an appliance store, watching the race on their TV's. Unfortunately I don't speak any Dutch, so I don't have any insight on quality of their commentary, but I'm sure it was good. As a side note, the Dutch people I met during my trip were extremely nice and friendly.

    As far as the Arenberg Forrest goes, I guess that having it closed for maintenance is sort of inevitable when you consider the age of the road. I agree with Bruco that I hope it is not "over-fixed". Making the road too smooth would detract from it's history and contribution to the race. Maybe they should let their "neo-pro" cobblestone masons learn on this road - nobody except a few pros would mind the gaps and rough spots!
    The rider in my avatar is David Etxebarria, not me.

  8. #8
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    i may have overreacted

  9. #9
    Wind Breaker Bruco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HigherGround
    Unfortunately I don't speak any Dutch, so I don't have any insight on quality of their commentary, but I'm sure it was good.
    Well, some of our commentators are more obsessed with themselves than that they are interested in the depths of the race at hand. The famous Mart Smeets seems to think that he is the entertainment factor; the riders are just there to support him.

    The Flemish, on the other hand, do a terrific job covering almost the entire UCI calendar.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Interesting...

    That road is basically closed all year. You can walk on it, but that's about it. And most of the cobbled sections in Northern France are "historic sites" and they have a foundation (similar to the National Trust for Historic Landmarks in the US) that cares for and maintains the cobbled roads. The cobbles actually came from ships that used them as ballast and were transported to various sites to use for paving...where I lived in Belgium (Waterloo) there were a few of these around...

    When they redid the Koppenburg it was done under strict guidelines, but they widened it a bit for safety reasons....witness Laggard's Watson photo. It was actually off the race for a few years for that very reason until it was rebuilt. But even if they pull and reset the cobbles in Arenberg, it will still a rough stretch...but it will make the race so much different this year...it's too bad they did not think of this right after last year's race as it probably would have been done before this coming April.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  11. #11
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Somehow I just can't envision Paris Roubaix without
    the Arrenberg, maybe thats why Georgie thinks he can win
    it this year?
    don't ask what I thought about the koppenberg being left out. . .
    sacrilege...
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    The races I've watched, George was always in the lead group or even the leader in the forest. I just hope it is on TV this year no matter what the course.

  13. #13
    Senior Member squeegy200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed073
    I know, I know....when I stayed in Hilversum I was madly taping everything that came on TV....Amstel, Dutch Champs, Belgian Champs, Tour de France, ENECO Tour etc etc.....because I knew when I got home each year, it would be a cycling desert on TV.......

    When I was in Europe two years ago, whenever my wife would retire to our room, I would quickly grab the remote control and flip thru the channels to find Bike races, Formula 1, and World Rallye Championships. We get none of that here across the pond. Television here in the States consists of nothing more than trashy Bimbos trying to be dignified, staged and scripted athletics matches, and race cars that go in endless circles.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeegy200
    When I was in Europe two years ago, whenever my wife would retire to our room, I would quickly grab the remote control and flip thru the channels to find Bike races, Formula 1, and World Rallye Championships. We get none of that here across the pond. Television here in the States consists of nothing more than trashy Bimbos trying to be dignified, staged and scripted athletics matches, and race cars that go in endless circles.

    Makes me mad!

  15. #15
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeegy200
    ... and race cars that go in endless circles.
    Yeah, I always wondered what is the attraction of NASCAR races... Seems pretty boring... Then again, I never liked track cycling either...

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich007
    Then again, I never liked track cycling either...

    BAN!!!








    only joking.....

  17. #17
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    How dare you compare track cycling to nascar! It's really impossible. I think Nascar is boring and idiotic, but some track races are especially exciting- like the Keirin. I admit, others are a bit less exciting, but the keiren and madison are just insane.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    There are comments in the today's edition of the cyclingnews.com from the last year's Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Bäckstedt about removal of the Arenberg section, and he doesn't sound happy about it:

    Bäckstedt not happy with Roubaix route changes

    PS: Sorry about making a "too close for comfort" comparison between NASCAR and track cycling, I was partly joking... I like some track events too...

    BTW, didn't last year Paris-Roubaix edition finished on a track:

    Last edited by rich007; 01-15-05 at 10:54 AM.

  19. #19
    Maglia Ciclamino gcasillo's Avatar
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    I really, really want this year's race on DVD or some other digital video format, say MPEG4 files of some sort. If someone overseas can record this for me (even non-English commentary), I would be more than happy to exchange DVDs of this year's TdF since I get OLN. Please PM me. I'd also give my left crankarm for recordings of this year's Giro.

    And for the record, I'm predicting Boonen will win this year's Paris-Roubaix.

  20. #20
    rider of small bicycles geneman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich007
    BTW, didn't last year Paris-Roubaix edition finished on a track:

    AFAIK it ends in the Roubaix velodrome every year.

    It would be a severe dissappointment if the Arenberg forest is left out of the Hell of the North this year. But for God sake, did anyone see the beating the riders took on that section in 2004? They were all but thrown from the bike. 30mph forward momentum was instantly turned into survival to stay upright ... amazing! Add to that the fact that two support motercycles went down in that stretch and I think they had to do something.

    -mark

  21. #21
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    I think it's good that it's being fixed. PR is a road race, not cyclo cross our mountain biking.
    i may have overreacted

  22. #22
    Senior Member rich007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneman
    AFAIK it ends in the Roubaix velodrome every year.

    -mark
    Sorry for being ignorant of the fact, didn't know that...

    Anyway, I just received the DVD "Road to Paris" and it had some insight into how USPS Postal rode the Spring Classics in 2001, in preparation for TdF... There were good shots from Paris-Roubaix that year and George Hincapie having great form and being a contender... Man what a race... I really have an utmost respect for anyone able to finish this hell. Not for nothing it is called "The Hell of the North"...

    I really need to get more DVDs covering the Spring Classics races from the past years (like the last 10)... Any suggestions which were the good ones??? Thanks.

    PS: I'm definitely getting the 2001 edition want to see that covered. And yeah, I'm from MTB background, so seeing this rainy and muggy mess makes my heart rate jump right away...

  23. #23
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    The Arenberg is dead. Long live the Arenberg!

    Oh, and... hey Rich? Enjoy.

    http://www.grahamwatson.com/2001/roubaix/roubaix.html

  24. #24
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    Aw, rats. I forgot to say...

    GO TOM BOONEN!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Xtrmyorick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dws5b
    The races I've watched, George was always in the lead group or even the leader in the forest. I just hope it is on TV this year no matter what the course.
    It was on TV last year and sucked terribly. They reduced it down to an hour, but not a consecutive hour. You'd see abbout 7 minutes of a section, then it'd cut to commercial, and when it cut back, you'd be on a completely different section with different leaders, and by the time you figured out the race status, they'd cut to commercial again. That's why I bought it on DVD. It truly is a great race if you see it all the way through.

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