___Race Snippets


49th Paris-Roubaix 1951 (France)


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian



Track Rider's Timely Attack

A heavy rain fell at the start of the 1951 Paris-Roubaix. A strong international field did not include defending champion Fausto Coppi, who broke his collarbone in Milan-San Remo.

Belgian Raymond Impanis used the cold rain to generate the first significant breakaway of the race. Through the halfway point the 3 rider break held a 2'50 lead. As the race approached Arras with 50 km to go the peloton began a brutal pursuit. The breakaway was caught 4 km later. Frenchman Louison Bobet immediately attacked on the cobbles of Henin-Lietard and led a new 5 rider group slowly away from the peloton.

At the front of the race the Bobet group was joined by danger man Rik Van Steenbergen. Now frequent attacks started in an attempt to drop strong sprinter Van Steenbergen. Powerful Italian Antonio Bevilacqua (current World pursuit champion) put in a huge effort on the hill at Hem and rode into the Roubaix Velodrome alone. Bevilacqua crossed the finish line 1'30 in front of Bobet in second and Van Steenbergen in third.

P-R April 8, 1951
247 Km, St. Denis (north of Paris) to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Antonio BEVILACQUA (Ita) 6h07'14

2. Louison Bobet (Fra) +1'30
3. Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
Starters: 202
Finishers: 57
Average Speed: 40.355 km/h


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“Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.”
Fausto Coppi, Italian
"Champion of Champions"