062: Belgium (and France) — Part Two: Paris Roubaix
April 20 2009
This was the most intense part of the course. Moments before I jumped out of the car to catch Boonen at this spot we heard that he had broken away from the group. The crowd was an intense ball of nerves and I had to jostle a little bit for a spot. Luckily everyone likes to see these guys in pain, so the majority of fans were situated further down on the cobbles.
Coincidentally this was also where Mr. Peter Bradshaw himself was situated with the Tom Boonen Fan-Club further down this very same section. Now, when I say "Tom Boonen Fan-Club" I mean the real deal. Apparently these guys started the morning in Boonen's hometown of Balen, Belgium...with his Grandparents (Tom's not Peter's) and headed to this exact spot to watch their boy bring it home.
Can you think of a better spot to be?
My personal favorite moment in this video, while seeing Big B roll by is definitely amazing, comes from our man in second place. The other big one out there. Pippo Pozzato. This guy is great on the cobbles, no one is disputing that. The part that I like the best is at 00:21 Seconds, when he makes the switch from hoods to tops, just as he's about to hit the cobbles.
P. Bradshaw tells me that this is what he did every time they entered a cobbled section together. Now, how would Peter Bradshaw know something like that? Well, the Friday before Roubaix we had the opportunity to ride with the Katusha squad. I flatted pretty early on (is 200m into the ride considered early?) and Bradshaw went on to ride with them for the next 100k.
Read Guy Andrew's story here. And definitely check out the photo with Peter riding next to the Katusha team.
And then later that night a few ladies came up and asked Peter if:
a) his mustache was real (or that he was a part of the Mr. Mustache Belgium contest)