With Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the Classics, almost upon us, why not relive some magic moments from the past?
With the drama and spectacle on show, Paris-Roubaix often lives up to its ‘Hell of the North’ nickname. In the 112 editions since 1896, cycling fans have been treated to some of the most memorable moment on two wheels.
While we can’t look back at many of the early editions of the race, Cycling Weekly has collated some of the best moments in the last 25 years. Take a look and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourite moments.
1990: The 90s started just as the 80s had finished: with a Belgian winner of Paris-Roubaix, but Eddy Planckaert didn’t have it all his own way.
Dutchman Edwig Van Hooydonk led out the sprint in the velodrome but was overtaken by Planckaert and Canadian Steve Bauer. The duo couldn’t be separated on the line, but the photo at the finish gave the Belgian the win.
1996: Domination – that’s just one word for Mapei’s performance in 1996 when they took all three spots on the podium, through Johan Museeuw, Gianluca Bortolami and Andrea Tafi.
The trio did it in style too, finishing two-and-a-half minutes ahead of fourth-place Stefano Zanini and another Mapei rider, Franco Ballerini.
2002: Johan Museeuw’s third and final Paris-Roubaix victory in 2002 looked a particularly brutal race. Muddy and wet cobbles and strong winds caused havoc in the peloton and provided this moment when US Postal’s George Hincapie fell into a ditch.
While Hincapie did not threaten the podium, his teammate Tom Boonen did – finishing third – and began his era of dominance on the race; winning three years later in 2005.
2010: Fast-forward eight years and Boonen’s long-term cobbles rival Fabian Cancellara took the second of his three wins to date. With Boonen going for a hat-trick of wins, Cancellara showed his power by attacking with just under 50km to go.
Leaving poor Bjorn Leukemans in his wake, the Swiss gunned his way to a two-minute solo victory.
2012: After winning in 2009, Boonen had to wait until 2012 to claim his record-equalling fourth win in Roubaix. The Belgian didn’t mess around either, soloing to victory by over 90 seconds, allowing himself enough time to pump his fist at the crowd on his victory laps of the velodrome.
His fourth title moved him level with Roger De Vlaeminck in the all-time win list, with his chances of overhauling his fellow Belgian this year scuppered by a shoulder injury.
2013: The Roubaix velodrome has seen a few good battles over the years, but few people will feel so aggrieved at getting second place than Sep Vanmarcke in 2013.
Entering the velodrome with Fabian Cancellara for company, the pair had a game of cat and mouse on the boards and there was only one outcome.