Dutchman Dylan van Baarle tool the biggest victory of his career, beating Belgian Wout van Aert. Trek-Segafredo kept the Paris-Roubaix Femmes title on the team after Elisa Longo Borghini’s 34-km solo triumph on Saturday. But everyone who finished the race can most likely attest to why it’s called “Hell of the North.”
Not only is the pace high, with everyone fighting to get in the right position before each cobbled section, but when you actually hit them, it takes a toll on your body.
Riding the cobbles can mean pushing bigger gears, so you are more stable as you fly over the rocks. That means your back will be sore. Your knees will ache. Almost everyone crashes at least once, or has a near-crash, so you’ll probably get a bit of road rash, on the best of days.
But no matter what, R.I.P your poor hands. Riding the cobbles means that your hands and arms become shock absorbers, and it doesn’t matter how thick your gloves are, your hands will be blistered and wrecked.
Take a look at van Aert’s hands after the race. Of note is his giant swollen thumb.
WVA's Strava ride the day after #ParisRoubaix.
'One hander (extended version)' is the title of the file. pic.twitter.com/BSCzSFjIUJ
— ammattipyöräily (@ammattipyoraily) April 18, 2022
To put into perspective just how destroyed the pro men and women’s hands are, here’s a throwback to Ineos-Grenadiers rider Salvatore Puccio’s hands, a full 11 days after!
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) April 24, 2014