I have watched this classic since the early eighties when my compatriot Sean Kelly won it twice.
I have recently watched some of the editions again on Youtube and the thought crossed my mind about what kind of advantage do the riders get by riding at the side of the cobbled sections where the track seems quite a bit smoother than on the cobbles themselves?
Of course the danger here is of being clipped by a spectator , as Stybar and Van den Berg found out to their cost in the 2013 edition.
Does anybody out there have any first hand experience of riding the cobbles and could offer an opinion on this.
thanks in advance