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44th Paris-Roubaix 1946 (France)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

Claes Surprises the Unbeatable

Belgian George Claes, a solid road rider, was not among the favorites for the 1946 Paris-Roubaix victory. Tour of Flanders winner Rik Van Steenbergen coming off an incredibly strong early spring schedule was tabbed by the pundits as unbeatable.

A very strong headwind made breakaway attempts nearly impossible. Misfortune came early as a puncture stopped Van Steenbergen. After a hard 40 km (25 mile) chase a second mechanical failure forced Van Steenbergen to abandon the race.

A three rider breakaway held a slim lead into Roubaix and entered the Velodrome to contest the sprint. With 1 lap of the track to go George Claes launched a huge attack and sprinted to a 2 meter victory over Frenchman Louis Gauthier.

P-R April 21, 1946
246 Km, St. Denis (north of Paris) to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. George CLAES Sr (Bel) 7h13'25

2. Louis Gauthier (Fra)
3. Lucien Vlaeminck (Bel)
Starters: ???
Finishers: 50
Average Speed: 34.055 km/h

 

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