___Race Snippets


66th Paris-Roubaix 1968 (France)


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian



Save the Cobbles!!!

The battle between modern progress in Northern France and the traditional cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix had begun several years earlier.  P-R organizer Jean Garnault worked hard to “save the cobbles”.  He designed a new course which started in Chantilly and headed due north towards Valenciennes (a course very similar to the present day race course). 

The cobbles of the new course started in Solesmes (at 151.1 km) and included the first entry into the Forest at Arenberg.  The new race course met with rave reviews.

World Champion Eddy Merckx in his rainbow jersey came to the start in Chantilly looking for his first major success of the year.  By the halfway mark Merckx began a furious pace that few could follow.  Through the cobbled sections Herman Van Springel was the final rider to hold the Cannibal’s wheel.

Van Springel led going into the velodrome but Merckx was in control.  Around the final bend Merckx dropped down the banking and sprinted to the victory.  For Eddy Merckx this was his first of three Paris-Roubaix victories.

P-R April 7, 1968
262 Km, Chantilly to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Eddy MERCKX (Bel) 7h08’26”

2. Herman Van Springel (Bel)
3. Walter Godefroot (Bel)
Starters: 136
Finishers: 44
Average Speed: 36.606 km/h



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