___Race Snippets

 
 

71st Paris-Roubaix 1973 (France)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

Eddy Outdoes Himself

The headline on the front page of L’Equipe’ read “Merckx Au-Dessus de Merckx” (Merckx above even Merckx).  Defending champion Roger De Vlaeminck came to Chantilly slightly injured from a crash at Gent-Wevelgem several days before P-R and was not listed as a race favorite.

SPECIAL NOTE: The 1973 P-R attracted a few Tour de France contenders because the TdF race route included cobbled sections on several stages.

The winning move came on the Cysoing-Bouvignies cobbles.  Roger Rosiers (Bel) escaped solo but was chased by Eddy Merckx with De Vlaeminck on his wheel.  Once caught Merckx set a hard tempo and Rosiers faded on the Coutiches cobbles. 

Forty kilometers from Roubaix Merckx and De Vlaeminck held a small gap on an elite chase group.  When De Vlaeminck began to struggle Merckx attacked and dropped the Gypsy

An inspired Eddy Merckx dominated the closing kilometers and entered the velodrome with more than a two minute lead.  With his third P-R victory Merckx joined Octave Lapize, Gaston Rebry, and Rik Van Looy as three time winners of the “Hell of the North”.

P-R April 15, 1973
272 Km, Chantilly to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Eddy MERCKX (Bel) 7h28'43"

2. Walter Godefroot (Bel) +2'20"
3. Roger Rosiers (Bel)
Starters: 138
Finishers: 35
Average Speed: 36.370 km/h

 

 

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