Making its first appearance in five years, the newly re-christened ‘Pont Gibus’ secteur (named in honor of Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, who launched both of his successful victory attempts on this very stretch) is headlining the changes featured in this year’s Paris-Roubaix route.
Fresh off an estimated 500,000-Euro renovation, the secteur was last featured in the race’s 2008 edition. At 1600 meters long, and located just four kilometers after the famed Arenberg forest, it has the potential to greatly influence this year’s racing, just as it did for Gibus himself on those two occasions. For 2013, the course will be marginally shorter, but the brunt of the changes for this year’s race mainly involve altering the order in which the peloton faces the toughest sections of cobbles.
Pont Gibus will be reintroduced to the peloton as secteur number 17 this year, and will come just after the Trouée d’Arenberg, which the peloton will likely exit already in bits and pieces, but with 94 kilometers still to go. Next up will be the Hornaing–Wandignies sector, which rounds off this new sequence and will leave the riders 83 kilometers to play with until they reach the Roubaix Velodrome.