The next installment of the Spring Classics takes place tomorrow with the running of Paris-Roubaix, nicknamed "the Hell of the North" and "the Queen of the Classics," probably depending on where you finish. I am torn between someday riding the sportif version, which is held biannually, or just ignoring it. The pro race is pretty dreadful, with the 50 kms of nasty nasty cobbles and the mud (or dust), and the winner often seems to be the rider who had the fewest flats, but it is nonetheless an epic ride. And for the sportif version you get a cobblestone mounted on a plaque when you finish, just like the pros do when they win.
The Saxo Bank guys were out doing a recon ride the other day and all eyes are on Spartacus, as he attempts to do the Flanders/Roubaix Double.
Of course, the whole point of a recon ride is to prepare yourself for the race ahead. Paris-Roubaix is famed for its crashes and it appears that Gustav Larson was getting ready for every eventuality. He will, of course, have to deal with this photograph (like the one above by Tim de Waele and found on the Saxo Bank website here) for the rest of his cycling career: