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Section 1 Paris-Roubaix: Espace Charles Crupelandt

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Cobble section 1 of the cycling classic Paris-Roubaix called Espace Charles Crupelandt is the final set of cobbles before the cyclists get up to the velodrome of Roubaix. The length is only 300m. This final stretch of cobbles before the stadium is named after a local rider, Charles Crupelandt, who won in 1912 and 1914. The organiser of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, predicted he would win his race. He then went to war. He returned a hero, with the Croix de Guerre. Three years into peace, however, he fell foul of the law and was found guilty in court. The Union Vélocipédique banned him for life, possibly at the urging of rivals in cycling. Crupelandt raced again but registered with an unofficial cycling association, with which he won national championships in 1922 and 1923. He died in 1955, blind and with both legs amputated. This sector, dropping from 32m to 27m, is unofficially known as the 'Chemin des Géants,' [Road of the Giants]. It was first used 1996, having been created for the centenary by laying a strip of smooth new cobbles down the centre of the wide boulevard of the avenue Alfred Motte. Dotted among the cobbles are plaques to every race winner, the giants. The cobbles are in excellent condition.

Source: Wikipedia



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