__ _Race Snippets


84th Paris-Roubaix 1986 (France)


By Barry Boyce,



The King and the “Queen of the Classics

SPECIAL NOTE: The finish line in 1986 was shifted away from the Roubaix Velodrome for the first time since 1943. The new finish area was on the Avenue des Nations-Unies in front of the headquarters of major sponsor La Redoute.

Irishman Sean Kelly, Paris-Roubaix champion in 1984, said “P-R is the toughest classic to win.”  You must ride at the front and have great luck to be in position to win the “Queen of the Classics.”

American Greg LeMond suffered a broken derailleur and needed a bike change. The delay cost LeMond a chance of catching the front group. 

The drama of the race was played out by a lead group of 28 riders including “King” Kelly. Forty-four kilometers from Roubaix young Belgian Rudy Dhaenens attacked and opened a 30” gap.  Kelly did not react immediately.

In Templeuve Kelly started to quicken the chase.  Francesco Moser (P-R winner in 1978, 78, 80) and Domenique Lecrocq joined Kelly.  Dhaenens was caught just before the cobbles of Camphin-en-Pevele. Aggressively Kelly attacked the group with 18 kms to go.  Only Dhaenens, Adri Van der Poel, and Ferdi Van den Haute could hold the Irishman’s wheel. 

Van der Poel, the winner of Flanders a week earlier, was Kelly main concern. At Flanders Kelly lead out the sprint from too far away and was passed by Van der Poel. Kelly worked hard on the Avenue des Nations-Unies to gain the proper position. 

Ferdi Van den Haute started the sprint from 400 meters and a perfectly positioned Sean “King” Kelly easily powered past the others for the victory.

P-R April 13, 1986
268 Km, Compiegne to Roubaix (Ave des Nations-Uries)

1. Sean KELLY (Ire) 6h48'23"

2. Rudy Dhaenens (Bel) +1"
3. Adri Van der Poel (Ned)
Starters: 179
Finishers: 57
Average Speed: 39.374 km/h

P-R 1985

P-R 1987

Return to the Timeline ToC

Return to the Race Snippets ToC


All materials are property of CyclingRevealed and Copyright © 2009-2018
unless otherwise noted

Home | Contact Us