At the start line in Compiègne
An early morning train ride from Paris, about an hour from Gare du Nord. This was my second time at Compiègne so I knew a bit more what it would be like. There’s always a restricted area around the castle, but the whole caravan won’t fit in there, which is good for the supporters. This way we get a lot more of the circus.
Erik Zabel was all alone waiting for the team so I came up to him and started asking questions. From top to toe in black Canyon sportswear. German to the bone.
Boonen on his way to the sign in. Wearing leg warmers that is soon to come off as the start is in 5 mins. And as always on Paris–Roubaix –no gloves. Hard man.
Tire pressure talk… it never gets old at P–R.
Heinrich Haussler riding back to the bus after signing in. But in order to get away undetected from fans he took a small gravel road next to the big road. But I got him.
Fans or bachelor party waiting for their favorite riders. Note that the KOM–guy has some sort of a sword or whip?
Velodrome in Roubaix
I managed to sneak into the VIP area somehow and got a good spot just as the final bend started going up. There was a big tv screen that showed the race so we were able to follow the race as they were getting closer. Riders were coming in on the velodrome at really high speeds.
Security is making sure everybody’s here.
Some people got there in their truck.
Niki Terpstra is entering the velodrome knowing he’ll take the win.
The fight for the podium.
Cancellara on his way to third place.
Sep Vanmarcke in the haze of exhaustion.
Johan van Summeren. A week after he hit Marie–Claire Moreels, 65 at the Tour of Flanders. Very calm and collected, clearly marked by the event.
Peter Sagan was followed by a huge crowd. Couldn’t walk anywhere. Total Beatlemania.
Streets of Roubaix. Felt a bit rough, reminded me of Manchester.