Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Le Vélodrome de Roubaix (Paris - Roubaix)

It is always hard to put emotions into words, it is impossible to describe what's the feeling of being in the Vélodrome for the arrival of such a unique race.
"L'enfer du Nord", "la dure des dures", etc. So many nicknames for a race are the symptom of the uniqueness of this crazy race.
Sunday I arrived when the Vélodrome was still empty. It seemed  asleep, collecting energies for the hard day ahead of it.
It is important to consider that in Roubaix a brand new modern velodrome has been built, so that the old Vélodrome is not used anymore and it is abandoned during the rest of the year.
The Vélodrome comes back to life just one day a year and it is one of the most emotional event you can attend in your life.
Hour after hour the old Vélodrome de Roubaix starts to fill up, slowly coming back to life after a year of lethargy.
When the race arrives at the Arenberg forest, the Vélodrome is the beating heart of the city of Roubaix and of the cycling world; when the first rider drops in, the Vélodrome has to face its annual heart attack, the last 600 meters are a breathless epilogue of its day of the year. It is something inexplicable, you find yourself in a sort of cycling-centred parallel universe.
Once crowned the winner of the year, the Vélodrome, after having warmly embraced the last rider of the race, slowly goes back to its annual hibernation, preparing himself for its next resurgence.
The Vélodrome this year decided it was time to give Van Avermaet his first Monument but, while you are reading this fleeting Impression, it is already thinking about the new emperor to crown. Who will be? Continue...

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