The world went Paris-Roubaix mad over the weekend, with Orica-GreenEdge’s Mat Hayman taking a surprise win after a five-man sprint to the finish.
But it was Fabian Cancellara who was on the lips of many after the event had finished due to a rather unfortunate series of events for the iconic rider.
The 35-year-old Fabian was racing in his final Roubaix this year, and while he may have dreamed of entering the famous velodrome in the lead and taking a romantic last victory, it wasn’t to be.
Cancellara crashed a couple of times in the race before one decisive bail on to the muddy Mons-en-Pevele segment saw his chances ruined, though they did also prompt this piece of unreal bike handling from World Champion Peter Sagan, who was following directly on his wheel:
— Paris-Roubaix (@Paris_Roubaix) April 10, 2016
...but it was only to get worse for Cancellara, who clearly didn’t have luck on his side at the Roubaix.
The Swiss rider rolled into the velodrome and crossed the line in 40th position at the end of the race, about seven and a half minutes back from Hayman.
He then took a lap of honour to celebrate all the good times at the Paris-Roubaix and say goodbye to his many fans, grabbing a Swiss flag as he went – then taking another tumble on the velodrome and sliding straight into a puddle.
— La GazetteDes Sports (@GazetteDesSport) April 10, 2016
“When the crash first happened, I had to jump into the field," Fabian said, speaking about his crashes earlier on in the contest. “The second one was a bit unlucky, then the third one I was ice-skating and I couldn’t do anything. I tried to chase for 15km but my Roubaix was gone.
“Even crashing on the velodrome in front of my fans, I don’t care. One crash more or less changes nothing for my career. I’m hurting all over but it was nice to finish it here and be with my family."