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Event takes place on Saturday 12 April, the day before the pros tackle the real thing

Newcastle bike café The Cycle Hub is launching a new event in April, The Hell of the North East, that takes place the day before Paris-Roubaix – and like the race nicknamed The Hell of the North that inspires it, the route includes plenty of rough roads, ranging from farm tracks to cobbles.

Entry to the 100km ride, scheduled for Saturday 12 April, is free, but places are strictly limited, and can be made by emailing The Cycle Hub – the address, plus details of what you need to include in your email as well as requirements for riders, can be found here.

Organisers stress that the ride isn’t suitable for beginners – “it will be tough and both you and your bike should be ready for it.

They add: “We would encourage you to ride either a cyclocross bike or a road bike (fitted with 25mm, or bigger, tyres), as this fits better with the ethos of the Paris-Roubaix, which is to ride entirely unsuitable bikes along entirely unsuitable routes!

“Mountain Bikers are obviously welcome to attend, but should be aware that this will be considered as cheating!”

Here’s a short promo film for the ride, which organisers promise “won't be quite as hard as the real thing, but will be plenty tough” – for a start, it includes 800 metres of climbing.

Hell of the north-east from Oliver Townsend on Vimeo

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.