Fabian Cancellara had hoped that his final Paris-Roubaix would end with a record-equalling fourth victory - but instead, it finished with the Trek-Segafredo rider taking a tumble as he cycled round the velodrome that hosts the finish of the toughest one-day race on the calendar.
Footage posted to Twitter showed the 35-year-old riding one-handed around the banking, holding the Swiss flag aloft - then suddenly losing control, perhaps due to a gust of wind, and landing ignominiously in a puddle.
Afterwards, he said: "Even crashing on the velodrome in front of my fans I don't care, because one crash more or less changes nothing for my career. I am just happy in another way, but not happy about the race. Just happy it is done."
— La GazetteDes Sports (@GazetteDesSport) April 10, 2016
The Swiss rider's hopes of following up his successes of 2006, 2010 and 2013 were ended after he crashed some 55 kilometres from the finish as he tried to help chase down the lead group including eventual winner Mat Hayman of Orica-GreenEdge.
The sector of pave where Cancellara, who had crashewd twice earlier on, came down - Mons-en-Pévèle - had been identified by him as potentially decisive today; it was for him, but not in the way he would have wished.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.