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Sport, Cycling

Cycling: Surprise Australian victory at Paris Roubaix classic

The Australian Mathew Hayman winning the sprint of the 114e Paris-Roubaix
The Australian Mathew Hayman winning the sprint of the 114e Paris-Roubaix AFP/Kenzo Tribouillard

Mathew Hayman of the Orica-GreenEdge team finished in 5 hours 51 minutes and 53 seconds. Just a bike’s length behind him was four-time winner Tom Boonen of Belgium of the Etixx - Quick-Step team, followed, in third, by Ian Stannard of the UK of Team Sky.

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The 257.5 km route across northern France is nicknamed the 'Hell of the North' and famous for its cobbled sections.

Mathew Hayman looked exhausted after the race, but was in high spirits. He said that his dream came true after winning the one-day classic.

“I can’t believe it,” he said moments after the gruelling race. He trained hard after sustaining injury, spending hours every day in his garage on the home trainer.

“I broke my arm five weeks ago and I missed all the racing. I raced the race in Spain last week.”

“This is my favorite race, this is the race I dream of every year. But this year I even didn’t dare to dream.”

Hayman made just one breakaway. “But just only once. I really saved my legs there, and I saved all day.

"And in the final I can tell that the other guys were also pretty tired, and we really raced hard the last five kilometers. I just played the game and I was lucky,” he says.

Hayman beat four-time winner Tom Boonen into second in a sprint finish in the famous old outdoor velodrome in Roubaix at the end of Sunday's the 257.5km ride that started in Compiegne, near Paris.

It was Hayman's 17th time to take part in this classic, and his previous best result was when he ended eighth in 2012.

 

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