Paris-Roubaix 2023: the race tackles a sector of pave Tour de France organisers ASO have justified the absence of pavé in the 2025 Grand Départ stages despite the race’s opening three days finishing close to the much-feared cobbled backroads of northern France.
As the finishing locations of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour’s opening stage in Lille on July 5th are separated by just a few kilometres, expectations that sectors of pavé featured regularly in the Queen of the Classics could put in an appearance had been high.
But rather than a return to the cobbles of northern France, Thursday’s press conference revealed the opening three stages of the 2025 route will be completely avoiding any encounters with pavé.
Instead, stage 1 of the 2025 Tour de France looks set to favour the sprinters with a flat second half and a kilometre-long finishing straight, while stage 2 will have a punchy, hilly finale in Boulogne-sur-Mer and stage 3 could feature echelons on the exposed run-in to Dunkerque.
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However, Tour de France route designer Thierry Gouvenou told L’Équipe that the reasons why there is virtually no pavé in the 2025 route at all – barring a brief segment of cobbles on Mont Cassel on stage 3, a long way from the finish – were two-fold.
Part of the reason was because of the geographical location of start and finish towns in the Hauts-de-France region, and partly that the pavé would have had to be included on stage 1, already one of the most […]