__ _Race Snippets

96th Paris-Roubaix 1998 (France)

By Barry Boyce,




Ballerini Untouchable, Mapei 1-2-3!!!

SPECIAL NOTE: The ‘race start’ was move up from 10:25AM to 10:10AM because of the strong winds, cold temperatures (7C / 44F) and treacherous road conditions (wet) along the course.  In Roubaix rain and hailstorms were heavy.

The 1998 Paris-Roubaix experienced bad weather throughout the race as the peloton aggressively left Compiegne
Through the brutal ‘5 Star’ cobbled section, the Arenberg Forest, numerous riders crashed. One of the pre-race favorites Belgian Johan Museeuw crashed very heavily and was forced to abandon.

SPECIAL NOTE: Museeuw had to be transported to the hospital because of a knee injury (cracked patella).

The first successful breakaway came with 80 kms to go mark. The front group of six riders including Franco Ballerini, Viasjeslav Ekimov, and Andrea Tafi opened a gap of one minute. Crash, punctures and mechanical problems caused a regrouping at the front.

An attack by Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) shattered the lead group and at the 65 kilometers to go mark, 8 riders went clear going into the cobbled section at Chemin des Prieres. Lost valuable time Franco Ballerini left his chase group and joined the leaders.

Dierckxsens and Ballerini attacked and gained a minute quickly. An incredibly strong Ballerini dropped Dierckxsens going into cobbled Zone 7 at Ennevelin with 38 km to the finish.  Ballerini riding very strongly gained +25" on Dierckxsens and +1’30” on the lead chase group.

Italian Franco Ballerini steadily rode away and soloed into the Roubaix Velodrome with more than 4 minutes ahead. He won his second Paris-Roubaix by +4'16" ahead of his teammates Andrea Tafi (Ita) and +4'19" on 3rd place Wilfried Peeters (Bel).

P-R April 12, 1998
266.5 Km, Compiegne to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Franco BALLERINI (Ita) 6h57’49”

2. Andrea Tafi (Ita) 4’16”
3. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) 4’19”
Starters: 183
Finishers: 49
Average Speed: 38.270 km/h


P-R 1997

P-R 1999

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