'Action, drama, torture, and even heroism.'
Paris-Roubaix – the ‘Hell of the North’, ‘Queen of the Classics’, one of cycling’s most legendary races.
Covering 260 kilometres in a single day, the race tackles the cobbles, or pave, of northern France. Bumpy and misshapen, frequently wet and covered in mud, crashes are a regular occurrence, punctures are a given, and broken bikes and bones are not uncommon. A good result here is treasured and a win is huge.
Jørgen Leth’s 1976 film A Sunday in Hell captures the spectacle in all its gruelling, dust-caked glory. It races alongside individual riders, shares the fanaticism of the spectators and revels in the sheer craziness of the race. A fantastic and utterly classic documentary.
'You can see every bead of sweat on the cyclists and every smashed-up ankle. It really makes you never want to get on a bike again. But it is an amazing film.' - Nick Fraser, BBC