The Link: Paris-Roubaix 2013 and Stybar’s slip

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Chaos on the Carrefour as Stybar swerves. The race is lost… and won

Photographs: Offside/l'Equipe



Paris-Roubaix – April 7, 2013


The Carrefour de l’Arbre, a seething mass of humanity for one day a year; a beer-fuelled cacophonous funnel of cycling fandom.


Fabian Cancellara, Sep Vanmarcke and Paris-Roubaix debutant Zdenek Stybar are away, hugging the gutter of this savage ‘five-star’ sector, the final hurdle before the run-in to the velodrome.


A spectator spreads his drunken arms wide as the trio approach the restaurant that never seems to open. Vanmarcke and Cancellara swerve as, at exactly the same time, Stybar wings another spectator behind.


He veers across the cobbles, left foot unclipped. In the few seconds it takes Stybar to re-engage his pedal, his race is lost. He finishes sixth.


Your suggestions for The Link for issue 17.2 are welcome. It should be linked in some way to the story above – a classic Cancellara moment? Drunken spectators causing mayhem? A race won or lost in the blink of an eye?

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