Matt Hayman take a bow

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Dear Rouleurs,

I’m sleep deprived but very excited.  It was a late night, watching the 2016 edition of the Paris-Roubaix and the race provided a thrilling finish that made the wait so worth while.  In an astonishing 5 man finish in the Roubaix Velodrome, Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Hayman broke through for just his 3rd professional win and become the only Australian since Stuart O’Grady to win.  In case, you don’t know who Matt Hayman is, this is what he looks like.

 Matt Hayman beats Tom Boonen by half a wheel.

Matt Hayman beats Tom Boonen by half a wheel and celebrates in style.

2016 Paris-Roubaix Podium - Left to Right, Tom Boonen, Matt Hayman, Ian Standard

2016 Paris-Roubaix Podium – Left to Right, Tom Boonen, Matt Hayman, Ian Stannard.

Whilst the weather was kind, race conditions were still pretty tricky…ask Fabian Cancellara who slid sideways on the pave or Luke Rowe who dived over the handle bars after he tried to bunny hop a fallen team mate or Luke Durbridge who was on the receiving end of an untimely puncture.  The hospital casualty list included:

  • Sky’s Elia Viviani was hit by a motorcycle after a crash held up the peloton in Arenberg.
  • Mitchell Docker of Orica-GreenEdge,  suffering from severe craniofacial and dental trauma, with multiple face wounds.
  • Etixx – Quick-Step’s Niki Terpstra,  sustained a knee injury that forced him out of the race.
  • Others included Nikolas Maes [Etixx – Quick-Step] , Nelson Oliveira and Francisco Ventoso of Movistar and Lampre – Merida’s Federico Zurlo.

However, what became clear at around the 60Km mark was that Tom Boonen was in the right place to win and that Cancellara and Peter Sagan were not. I reckon Cancellara’s fall at the 30Km mark on pave was contributed significantly by the knowledge that he had missed the key breakaway group.

However, that doesn’t take anything away from Orica-GreenEdge’s Matt Hayman, who at the ripe old age of 37 years old, competing in his 15th ‘Hell of the North”, outfoxed and out spirited a quality group including Tom Boonen [Etixx-Quick Step] , Ian Stannard [Team Sky], Sep Vanmarck [Team Lotto NL] and  Edvald Boasson Hagen [DImension Data].  The win made all the more incredible, by his rapid recovery from a fractured radius and limited racing.

I can’t wait for the next instalment of the Classics.

Marv

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