Located two hours away from Paris and a little more than one hour from Brussels, Denain is a place of contrasts: it is a green town, thanks to its plentiful trees, but also a blue town, as the Escaut canal passes through it. It boasts an extensive motorway, rail and river network, giving it an ideal geographical location at the heart of the Hauts-de-France region.

The town’s rich architectural and historical heritage remains from its mining and steelmaking past, and some of this heritage has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage, such as its magnificent Italian-style theatre (a 1/5th scale replica of the Garnier opera house). However, it is above all the town’s human values that help it to stand out. Indeed, the steel industry has forged stainless values: first and foremost, a taste for effort through work, then solidarity in everyday life as well as respect for all, whatever their origins or social status.

Many sportspersons have embodied this state of mind: Jean Degros, a French champion in 1965 with the Denain-Voltaire basketball club, which is today in the Pro B division, Fabien Gilot, a 4 x 100 metres Olympic Champion at the London Games in 2012 with titles from major international competitions, as well as many others have made Denain a springboard for sports competitions and champions. Denain is also a place synonymous with the five rings. The town has received the French Olympic label for the 2024 games, underlining its commitment and ambition: to be at the heart of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Denain is above all a fantastic playground for cycling enthusiasts. Since 1959, the town has supported the organisation of the Grand Prix de Denain Porte du Hainaut, a UCI Pro-Series classed cycling race. Each year, the event attracts the best professional riders because its route takes in many cobbled sections. As such, it is an immense honour for Denain and its inhabitants to be once again chosen as the start town for the 4th edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes with Zwift. Ready to battle it out all the way to the Roubaix velodrome, the world’s elite women cyclists will set off from venues that form the dynamic beating heart of Denain: the senior high school, junior high school, aquatic centre and Jean Degros sports complex. The success and popular appeal of this major sporting event in the Hauts-de-France region is guaranteed.