• Paris-Roubaix, The Inside Story

  • All the Bumps of Cycling's Cobbled Classic
  • By: Les Woodland
  • Narrated by: Nick O'Kelly
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Sports & Outdoors, Cycling
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

The Paris-Roubaix bicycle race, nicknamed "The Hell of the North," is famous for sending riders over brutal cobblestone roads. Only the strong, brave and lucky survive the hours of bone-shaking racing without suffering some mishap or catastrophe. It is so difficult no one wins it by accident, and winning Paris-Roubaix automatically puts a rider among the immortals of the sport. How did that come to be? At one time roads everywhere were paved with cobbles. Why did Paris-Roubaix emerge to be such a special race?

Les Woodland tells the inside story of how one of cycling's classics grew from several 19th century businessmen's plan to bring cycling to the mill town of Roubaix. It wasn't a sure thing, and several times it seemed the race might die. It's a fascinating tale, so fasten your seat belts, Les is going to take you on a bumpy ride.

©2013 Les Woodland (P)2013 Les Woodland

What listeners say about Paris-Roubaix, The Inside Story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hell of the North!

What a great book. This is an excellent history of the race known as Paris-Roubaix, the springtime one-day classic that features distinctive cobbled roads in the north of France. Cycling history is filled with such amazing characters, as a rule, and the Paris-Roubaix is rife with them. Great stories about riders stopping at pubs, quitting the race, or fighting with spectators; heroic tales of athletes plowing through ridiculously difficult conditions to win this hellish yet somehow irresistible race. The author creates a wonderful portrait of a century, a region, and a parade of legendary cyclists. The narrator is perhaps the worst narrator I have ever heard on Audible, sorry to say (the French pronunciations are quite painful). But if you need to listen rather than read, as I do, try not to let that prevent you from enjoying this cycling history. It's worth the struggle.

4 people found this helpful

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I loved it!

if you love cycling and understand that it is more than a sport then you might also love this book.

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  • George
  • 07-10-14

Well worth a listen

Would you consider the audio edition of Paris-Roubaix, The Inside Story to be better than the print version?

I love audio books, I can still read now that my commute is in the car rather than on the train.

What did you like best about this story?

I am relatively new to cycling so not that familiar with all the characters in this book, but that did not spoil my enjoyment. This book really brings the race to life

Which scene did you most enjoy?

none

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Hell on cobbles

2 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 12-16-15

Unbearable Narration

I genuinely believe had this account of Paris-Roubaix been narrated by a less robotic accented narrator, I may have enjoyed it.
In parts, I actually thought a voice program had taken over.
Disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HGJohn
  • 08-11-20

Only for the committed

Littered with dodgy pronunciation and obvious overdubs, this book has some interesting stories and anecdotes to share, but it’s a bit thin and doesn’t satisfy as an audiobook.

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  • pems-integ-tests
  • 12-07-19

Monotonous monologue

A monotonous monologue - you’d think this book was written without punctuation. You’d also want a narrator who could at least pronounce French marginally accurately if they are covering a book set in France.

The story is fantastic and I really wanted to listen, unfortunately there was no change in tone throughout the book and I gave up half way. Could have done so much with this fantastic content. A pity really.

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  • Tony Butler
  • 10-20-16

Great history but ruined by the narrator

this was a great history of the race but was somewhat ruined in my opinion by the narrator who sounded like an advanced computer reading out the text. im surprised i stuck with it until the end!