“Pont Gibus” cobbled sector to make Paris-Roubaix return in 2013
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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

“Pont Gibus” cobbled sector to make Paris-Roubaix return in 2013

by Ben Atkins at 11:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
 
Extensive renovation begins on famous 1600 metre Wallers to Hélesmes sector

gilbert duclos-lassalleOne of Paris-Roubaix’ most iconic landmarks will make its return to the Queen of the Classics next year, after extensive renovation work has been carried out to one of its most famous cobbled sectors. The 1600 metre long sector, between Wallers and Hélesmes, passes through a disused railway embankment, has not been used since 2008 due to its deteriorating surface.

The topless bridge that the cobbles pass under has taken on the nickname “Pont Gibus”, after two-time race winner Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle; both of whose victories were built on attacks made on this sector.

Race director Jean-François Pescheux and Thierry Gouvenou invited “Gibus” to officially launch the renovation work, which will be carried out by volunteers from les amis de Paris-Roubaix, and students from the local lycées. ASO has assured les amis, as well as the town council of Wallers, and the regional government of Nord-Pas de Calais, that the famous sector will make its return to the race in 2013.

In previous years, the Wallers sector was placed at around the 170km point, just four kilometres after the dreaded Trouée d’Arenberg, but ASO has yet to confirm where it will feature in next years edition.

One of the first actions in the sectors restoration was to lay some special commemorative engraved cobblestones, to officially christen the section “Pont Gibus”. Duclos-Lassalle’s love-affair with l’Enfer du Nord - which saw him finally win the race in 1992, at the age of 37, then repeat the feat the next year - has made him one of the most popular riders with the locals; he already has the Cysoing to Bourgelles sector, which comes at around 25km to go, named after him.

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