Progress being made in ensuring historic Forest of Arenberg remains in Paris-Roubaix
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Progress being made in ensuring historic Forest of Arenberg remains in Paris-Roubaix

by VeloNation Press at 8:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Local authorities pledge to remove moss growth which could make the cobbles treacherous

Paris-RoubaixAfter concerns were expressed four weeks ago about the growth of moss on the cobblestones of the famous Arenberg forest, a problem which led organisers ASO to say that the section might have to be dropped from this year’s race, two bodies have indicated that they will work to rectify the issue.

The local government of the Wallers-Arenberg region plus the Office National des Forêts have committed to sorting out the problem before the race, which takes place this year on Sunday April 8th.

According to Het Nieuwsblad, they will use a cleaning machine to ensure that the moss is stripped from the stones.

ASO’s Jean-Francois Pescheux told l’Equipe last month that something need to be done. “Nature has reasserted itself, and mud is covering the ground,” he stated then, laying out the situation. “Without cleaning of the [Arenberg] trench, we can’t use it this year.”

The section of the race is already known to be one of the most risky, with many riders falling there in the past and Johan Museeuw catching gangrene from a bad leg wound he sustained there in 1998. The Belgian almost lost the limb, although doctors were able to turn the situation around in time. He subsequently returned to the race and won it in 2000 and 2002.

The race missed the Arenberg section seven years ago because of the moss problem. However, providing the work is carried out as stated, the race looks set to return once again to one of its most iconic locations.


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