___Race Snippets

 
 

54th Paris-Roubaix 1956 (France)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

Bobet Finally Wins Paris-Roubaix

Questions about French superstar Louison Bobet's health at the beginning of 1956 cast a shadow over his racing form. After an off-season operation doctors questioned his return to the peloton. A determined Bobet slowly worked back to a top level of fitness

An elite field of Belgian and French riders came to the start. The early breakaway was caught at a level railroad crossing in Evin-Malmaison and the real racing began. A group of 18 went clear on the hill at Mons-en-Pevele, but punctures and crashes thinned the breakaway.

Relentless attacks of the non-sprinters tried to jettison Rik Van Steenbergen. The ever vigilant Van Steenbergen answered every time.

Into Roubaix a solo Bernard Gauthier entered the velodrome with a small lead over Van Steenbergen. Bobet's teammate Alfred de Bruyne took control of the group. As Van Steenbergen faded Bobet jumped clear and drove a 52-14 gear for the prestigious victory.

Special Note 1 : The P-R victory was the highlight of Bobet's season. Injuries caused him to abandon the Vuelta a Espana and he did not start the Tour de France.

Special Note 2: Oddly, just after the finish de Bruyne pulled along side Bobet to congratulate him when he rolled a tire sending both to the concrete velodrome surface.

P-R April 8, 1956
252 Km, St. Denis (north of Paris) to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Louison BOBET (Fra) 6h01'26

2. Alfred De Bruyne (Bel) +15
3. Jean Forestier (Fra)
Starters: 164
Finishers: 80
Average Speed: 41.831 km/h

 

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