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55th Paris-Roubaix 1957 (France)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

De Bruyne Answers Belgian Critics

Several days after the finishing second to teammate Louison Bobet in the 1956 Paris-Roubaix, Belgian critics blasted the stronger Alfred De Bruyne for helping the Frenchman win. An off-season change to a new Italian team gave De Bruyne renewed vigor.

From the start the Peloton battled a very strong headwind with very well defined echelons forming. Weaker riders struggled to hold the front group.

Twenty-six kilometers from Roubaix two riders lead a group of forty by 30 seconds. At Sainghin-en-Melantois De Bruyne wasted little time and quickly bridged to the two leaders.

By Ascq, 11 km from the finish, De Bruyne had dropped both breakaway companions. But the race was not over, a puncture 1 km from the finish slowed De Bruyne's effort. Calmly the race leader got a tire change and entered the velodrome solo. A jubilant Alfred De Bruyne crossed the finish line for 1'11 victory. An ageless Rik Van Steenbergen won the field sprint for second place.

P-R April 7, 1957
252 Km, St. Denis (north of Paris) to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Alfred DE BRUYNE (Bel) 7h15'19

2. Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel) +1'11”
3. Leon Van Daele (Bel)
Starters: 146
Finishers: 101
Average Speed: 34.738 km/h

 

 

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