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85th Paris-Roubaix 1987 (France)
 
 

By Barry Boyce,
CyclingRevealed
Historian


 

 

CR Timeline 1987

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Young Belgian Prodigy Lives Up to His Promise

SPECIAL NOTE: For the second year in a row the finish line in 1987 was again on the Avenue des Nations-Unies in front of the headquarters of major sponsor La Redoute.

Eric Vanderaerden, winner of Flanders in 1985, came to Compiegne with singular focus, WIN the “Queen of the Classics”.  

As the 192 rider strong peloton rolled off the start line and into a strong headwind the traditional early attacks began.  Frenchman Charly Mottet led a 16 rider breakaway at the 22 km mark of the race.

By the first section of cobbles in Troisville the breakaway had dwindled to 14.  When the breakaway entered the Arenberg Forest the group shattered.  A local jeweler had offered a “golden cobblestone” (worth $1,650.) to the first rider through the 5 star (most difficult) cobbled section. 

Jean-Luc Vandenbrouck and Theo De Rooy split the group racing for the prize.  A re-grouping occurred and thirty riders exited the Arenberg cobbles.  Sensing tiredness in the group De Rooy set a pace on the front that only four others could follow. 

After a series of punctures and crashes the breakaway was three riders, Rudy Dhaenens, Patrick Versluys, and J-P Vandenbrande.  Behind 14 riders were chasing with less than 40 km to go.

At Wannehein with 25 kms to go young Belgian Eric Vanderaerden attacked hard and set out on a long, solo chase.  The inspired Vanderaerden slowly cut into the lead and caught the lead trio with 3 kms to go. 

On the Avenue des Nations-Unies Eric Vanderaerden lived up to his promise and easily won the sprint for the prestigious victory.

 

P-R April 12, 1987
264 Km, Compiegne to Roubaix (Ave des Nations-Uries)

1. Eric VANDERAERDEN (Bel) 7h18'03"

2. Patrick Versluys (Bel)
3. Rudy Dhaenens (Bel)
Starters: 192
Finishers: 47
Average Speed: 36.161 km/h

 

 

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