Crazy pavé, pain faces, gruelling sectors, crushing crashes. Yep, it was Roubaix Sunday. And we’ve got the tweets to prove it. Hayman, Boonen, Cancellara, Sagan, plus #PrayForPhil Gaimon, cute children and much much more.
It’s one of the hardest races of the year – and one where the favourites get more attention (and stress) than most others. But one of the things I love about cycling is you wouldn’t know it from their smiles and fan interaction the day before the big day. The Velvet Samurai stole the show, not least because of his magnificent mane (more on that in a mo…) and his ease with fans.
It was legends all round at Saturday’s presentation – and, yes, I’m already putting Sagan into that category.
First of this year’s #FlechaWatch!
The shower plaque that many wanted to change on Sunday …
Can’t help but love sponsors adverts!
The best of a generation.
And this is just the best.
Phil Gaimon got the call that he was going to have to take his place on the start-line for Paris-Roubaix. Not a race that a climber would usually ride, Phil had to make up team numbers when an illness swept through the Argyles. We were all worried.
Cobbles and crashes
There was a massive crash at the start of the Arenberg sector and that’s when the final selection really started. Boonen was frisky …
Tony Martin rode his first Roubaix and, as with the rest of the classics races this year, he was put on the front to make the pain just that much more concentrated.
More long-flowing hair chat.
And as it seems with the Tinkoff team, Sagan found himself without teammates again this race.
Cancellara and Sagan were working together to try to catch the Boonen group late into the race. Maserati Millar had a little something to say about that, which set up John Galloway’s best tweet ever.
Fabs crashes for the third (but not last) time, Sagan bunnyhops him but both of their chances hit the deck with that fall.
While Ian Stannard makes his way to the Velodome for a step on the podium.
The Sky GT guys were in Teide at training camp and had a technical emergency. This looks like a scene from a science fiction movie – okay, maybe a nerd film that has a sci-fi twist. “Can you really make that cyclist move with your mind, G?” “The Oracle said if I concentrate, I will make a difference.” “Can we go out for ice cream afterwards?”
15 tries – one big win
You don’t win Roubaix by accident – or without experience. And this year’s worthy winner went in with 14 years experience.
It was surprise win for Mat Hayman, who just nicked the win in the final sprint in the Velodrome.
Tweeters were talking about Mat as the ‘danger man’ from a long way out.
Well, Julie must have been over the moon, because Mat indeed did win.
Possibly the cutest child at a bike race ever. Mat’s son was at the race in his lucky elephant suit. I think we can expect to see him back next year – you know how superstitious cyclists can be. “Kid, I know you’re 18 but you’ve got to come out to the Seniors Roubaix in that elephant suit.”
Although Boonen didn’t manage to make Belgian dreams come true, he kept the hope alive. He takes a bow and blows us a kiss … and promises us more.
Farewell to a fallen Fabs
It was another goodbye to Cancellara this weekend, but it didn’t turn out the way Flanders did. Especially after he crossed the finish line.
A hug from his two daughters and then a ride around the Velodrome to thank the fans.
Except he had one last fall to come.
But he kept his sense of humour and goes out with a smile.
And a few last Roubaix observations from riders and fans.
The Sagan Segment …
Dan Wuori with his lookie-likie of Sagan and the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Unlike a few people, who were concerned, nay outraged, that Dan would insinuate Peter was cowardly, I think it really was only about the hair. (That portrait of Sagan is by Karen Edwards, if I’m not mistaken.)
The artistry of the marshmallow as stone. Only a cycling fan would make that connection.
Diego Rosa made quite a statement at the finish line in Pais Vasco. He seemed quite happy …
This is just cool.
What I love about this picture is, are these guys scared of it, waiting for it to do something, going to play tag with it?
A lesson in how to pile up those nasal strips juuuuuuuuust right.
The ArgoSunGod was back and won Scheldeprijs for a record fourth time. He had to sacrifice a lot for that win – including his quiff.
Little Baby Blackbird isn’t ready to let it go yet. I for one am very very glad about that.
Cav rode Roubaix – with a former teammate?
When Tommeke was a pup.
The Last Word