My fascination with Paris-Roubaix only increased after seeing it in HD – it was in a word stunning. Viewers could see decals on forks, components, facial expressions. Coming out of a cobbled sector, the racers looked sick and pained. As if they’d lost part of themselves on the pedals.
We’ve been critical of Versus for many things – mostly bull-riding preempting cycling and “the intern” – and to their credit they’re listening. The even asked us for input last year. Nice work on Sunday. Full props.
Looking for words to describe the race, I found a NYT’s archive written by the novelist Robert Daley in 1961
Hordes of riders pedaled by this scene at thirty miles an hour through ever-thickening clouds of dust. The men crouched over their handlebars but bounded up and down on the rutted cobblestones as if on horses. Car after car sped past them, two wheels in the gutter and the other two inches from the racers. Their horns blared.
The technology may change, in 09 fans and reporters twittered, while the race ploughs the same bloody trench through history.
Next year the chaos on two wheels will return and we’ll watch it.