Orica-Scott’s Mat Hayman was, for many, a surprise winner of Paris-Roubaix last year – although like another ‘outsider’, 2011 winner Johan Vansummeren, he had previous top-10 finishes in the race proving that, as the horse-racing pundits put it, he could go course and distance.
But the Australian nearly missed taking part at all in a race that he has admitted means more to him than any other as he fought to regain fitness after breaking his arm six weeks before what was to be his 15th participation in the race.
It would be one that, at the age of 37, finally brought him that prized cobblestone as well as a nameplate on a shower cubicle at Roubaix Velodrome – and now, a video from Zwift reveals how it helped him regain race fitness as he took to his home trainer in his garage ahead of the French Monument.
His victory 12 months ago also provided some compelling footage for his team’s Backstage Pass video covering the race – one in which another of its riders, Mitch Docker, sustained serious facial injuries following a crash in the Arenberg Trench.
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.