The spring classics are coming at us quicker than the next cobbled berg at the Tour of Flanders, which means only one thing – Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes Avec Zwift, arguably the most hotly-anticipated weekend of racing on the cycling calendar, is just around the corner.
What a classics season it has been so far – SD Worx and Jumbo-Visma have underlined their one-day dominance with a series of imposing team performances this spring, while Tom Pidcock stormed over the Tuscan gravel to secure a stunning Strade Bianche success, becoming the first British male rider to win the so-called ‘sixth monument’.
A fiery edition of Milan-Sanremo and the always gritty and frenetic Flemish cobbled classics saw the welcome return of the Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert show (with one-day guest star Tadej Pogačar elbowing his way into the new classics ‘Big Three’).
At the Tour of Flanders last weekend, two-time Tour de France winner Pogačar added to his ever-growing palmarès with a resounding solo ride, while home hero Lotte Kopecky went two-from-two at the Ronde with a similarly virtuoso performance.
All that and we still have a trip to the famous Roubaix Velodrome to look forward to. Will Kopecky complete a famous double? Will anyone repeat Matt Hayman's shock 2016 victory? Or will it just be one big Van Aert vs Van der Poel showdown? One thing is for certain, it won't be boring.
Raced over multiple bruising hours of mind-fatiguing and bone-shaking French roads, the Hell of the North is as brutal as bike racing gets. The difficulty here is not climbs, but cobbles – not the nice, uniform stones of Flanders, but uneven, jagged, brutish farm tracks.
To win, a rider needs skill, endurance, form, and more than a touch of luck to avoid the crashes and mechanicals which will litter this weekend.
And what's more, with the women's race now taking centre stage on the Saturday, a day before the men's race, you can watch it all twice, live and on-demand, with GCN+.
A key addition to the calendar two years ago, who will become the next woman to write her name in the history books by following in Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini's muddy and dust-filled tyre tracks?
For all of SD Worx's dominance, this is a race that has thus far eluded them, but with the new queen of the classics Lotte Kopecky looking imperious at Flanders, could a maiden Roubaix, and famous double, be on the way?
In the men's race Van Aert and Jumbo-Visma will be looking for redemption after their Flanders disappointment. Having won almost everything else this spring, the Dutch squad have missed out on the first two monuments of 2023. Roubaix might just be their last chance for redemption this spring.
And while Van der Poel won Milan-Sanremo with a stunning attack on the Poggio, defeat to Pogačar at Flanders, where he was outclassed on his own favoured terrain, will sting. But a maiden win at Paris-Roubaix would certainly prove the perfect tonic for the big Dutchman.
Once the dust (or mud, depending on the weather) has settled, and the winners of that famous, hefty cobblestone trophy are decided, the racing action will continue to come thick and fast, with the men's and women's editions of that relentlessly hilly trio – Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – as well as a host of other major one-day classics and stage races, taking place before the end of April.
Then, of course, it won't be long until Grand Tour season commences…
So, if you don't want to miss all the monumental racing action this year, look no further than GCN+.
GCN+ will bring you every unmissable moment from the rest of the classics campaign, as well as every attack, split, mechanical mishap, and sprint from the rest of the racing season.
With a GCN+ subscription, you can watch live and uninterrupted coverage of the biggest races all year round, from the beautiful grandeur of road racing and the fast and furious action on the track, to the breath-taking skills on display during the MTB and cyclocross seasons, all available at any time on any screen so you never need to miss a thing.
If you can't catch the racing live, you can still make use of the full race replays, on-demand highlights, and in-depth pre- and post-race analysis on GCN+ to make the most of your subscription and avoid missing a second. Fancy heading out for an actual bike ride when a stage is on? No problem, you can pause and pick up where you left off, or catch up in full later.
There are also highlights packages tailor-made to suit any schedule, from long, in-depth recaps to short summaries, or even just the final, action-packed kilometres. And if you're really pushed for time, GCN+ also rounds up all the best moments from the week in the exclusive World of Cycling show.
Well, if all that live racing, on-demand stage replays, time-saving highlights packages, and pre and post-race analysis by some of the best pundits in the sport (with some questionable dance routines thrown in for good measure) really isn’t enough, GCN+ also has a library of over 150 exclusive cycling documentaries available on demand covering all aspects of the sport, from unparalleled access to legends to epic adventures and record-breaking challenges, GCN+ is the one-stop subscription service for cycling fans throughout the cycling year.