Stage 9: Arras – Roubaix. 154km.

And now for the cobbles! The inclusion of significant parts of the Paris-Roubaix route in Stage 9 has raised a few eyebrows, but we’re looking forward to it, since we won’t have to tackle the 21.7km of pavé at race pace, and the longest section we’ll have to face in one go is only 2.7km, (Auchy to Bersée). We’ll start the day with a 50km non-cobbled run-in to Cambrai and its famous battlefield, and riders will then spend the afternoon immersing themselves in a classic continental cycling tradition – and no, we’re not talking about the mud! – before dinner and a beer or two in Roubaix.