__ _Race Snippets

97th Paris-Roubaix 1999 (France)

By Barry Boyce,




Tafi’s “Lifelong Dream” a Paris-Roubaix Victory

Andrea Tafi (Ita) had come close in Paris-Roubaix, 2nd in 1998, and 3rd in 1997, but the top step of the podium had eluded him. Tafi came to Paris-Roubaix with one purpose in 1999, fulfill a lifelong dream and win the “Hell of the North”.

The 18 rider breakaway raced through Cobbled Zone #9 (9 of 27, counting down), Mons-en-Pevele. Tafi continually launched unsuccessful attacks. The lead group was 6 riders with 12 more chasing close behind. With more than 40 kms to go the lead group came back together.

Repeated attacks by Tafi were answered until Zone #6 when the Italian launched his sixth attack.  This time he escaped. With 29 kms to go Tafi held a 22” lead over 6 chasers, two were his teammates. Slowly the Cobbled Zones counted down as the inspired Italian gained precious seconds:

Zone #5 (25km to go) +36” to 6 chasers, +2’25” to the peloton
Zone #4 +1’15”
9 km to go +1’40”
Zone #2 (5 km to go) +2’02”

Andrea Tafi entered the velodrome alone and cruised to a 2’14” victory over Mapei teammate Wilfried Peeters (Bel) and 2’26” over another teammate Tom Steels (Bel). 

P-R April 11, 1999
273 Km, Compiegne to Roubaix (Velodrome)

1. Andrea TAFI (Ita) 6h44’15”

2. Wilfried Peeters (Bel) 2’14”
3. Tom Steels (Bel) 2’26”
Starters: 189
Finishers: 66
Average Speed: 40.519 km/h

P-R 1998

P-R 2000

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