Video | The Back of Hell


Photo: Kristof Ramon

The dust hasn’t quite settled yet from this past Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix—and the riders have at least one more day before it has cleared their lungs—so we’re still talking about the race. And though no worn-out string of clichés and superflous adjectives can do adequate justice to Fabian Cancellara’s victory, we’re happy to know that people are also interested in the more human side of the sport—in the dreamers and also-rans.

In Last But Not Least, his piece for Rouleur, writer Andy McGrath tells the story of Chris Juul Jensen, the rider who finished dead last in Roubaix this year. Professional bike racers typically don’t ride all the way to the finish just for the satisfaction of doing so—but Paris-Roubaix is something special.

And then there’s this poignant video from NOS, which shows the race from a perspective you didn’t see on Sunday’s television broadcast—the view from from the back, from the broom wagon. Climbing into the broom wagon always leaves a little scar on your soul, as the pain of riding on alone is traded for the shame of admitting total defeat. For me, the worst part of the broom-wagon ordeal was watching, and feeling utterly helpless, as my bike was loaded onto a trailer or into the back of a large van.

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