All Hail Paris Roubaix

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“…Easter, 1984. Maybe ’85. Half-term holiday with my parents. A Spanish hotel, a TV in the corner of the bar. A bike race, but not like any bike race I’d ever seen before. Not like those sunny Grand Tours scaling the snow-capped, sun drenched peaks of the Alps; suntanned limbs and a carnival of colour. Shirtless tifosi pouring Evian over dazzlingly white-socked continentals. No, this was dark, foreboding: crushed into the dour, bleak landscape by the leaden grey skies. Gripped by and pitched into a filthy quagmire…”

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There quite simply is nothing else like Paris-Roubaix. New piece up here at the very desirable Quoc shoes site now on the most formidable bike race of the year.

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“…You see that wheelbarrow or two’s worth of red brick-ends and smashed in old masonry strewn across the inside of that corner there? That’s a repair, not a blemish…”

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You’re praying for a wet Roubaix? Been 15 or so since we had one, you say? I can tell you right now that the families, the wives and sweethearts of those boys out there with a number on their back today will be praying for anything but…

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Pics: Pieter Van Hoorebeke (Get well soon, Jonger!)