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46th Paris-Roubaix 1948 (France)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

Van Steenbergen and Record Speed

The roads of Northern France were kind to Belgian Rik Van Steenbergen in 1948. From the start in St. Denis a blazing tailwind blew the race toward Roubaix at record speed.

The final selection of 20 riders pulled away through the cobbles at Wattignies. A series of punctures thinned the lead group to only 3 riders with Van Steenbergen off the back but close behind. In Hem 6 kilometers from the finish the strong Belgian made the junction to the leaders. French champion Emile Idee knew Van Steenbergen possessed the strongest sprint and launched one final attack. At the entrance to the Velodrome Van Steenbergen trailed Idee by 2 lengths. Gallantly Idee drove the pace, but Van Steenbergen's superior closing speed overcame the Frenchman for the victory. Defending champion George Claes was third 16 seconds behind the winner.

P-R April 4, 1948
246 Km, St. Denis (north of Paris) to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Rik VAN STEENBERGEN (Bel) 5h35'31

2. Emile Idee (Fra)
3. George Claes (Bel) +16
Starters: 217
Finishers: 60
Average Speed: 43.612 km/h record ave speed

 

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