Cycling: Ballerini triumphs as Museeuw falls flat
Monday 13 April 1998
"For me, it's the most beautiful race of the season, the race of my life," said Ballerini, after securing his second Paris-Roubaix victory, having won it in 1995. Ballerini covered the 266km (160 miles) of the century old race in 6hr 57min 49sec.
The 32-year-old from Florence began his final drive 45km from the finish line and led home two Mapei team-mates by 4min 16sec. Another Italian, Andrea Tafi, came in second, followed by the Belgian Wilfried Peeters. Leon Van Bon, of the Netherlands, and the Frenchman Frederic Moncassin came home in fourth and fifth place.
Two of the favorites - Belgian Johan Museeuw and Italy's Stefano Zanini - fell on the muddy, cobblestone section running through Arenberg forest, 113km from the finish line.
Zanini came off relatively lightly, emerging with a bloody mouth after tumbling into a ditch. However, Museeuw's season could be over after he came to grief following a collision with a photographer.
Museeuw, the Belgian who won the Paris-Roubaix in 1996 - the year he took the world crown, fell on the toughest part of the cobbled sector and was taken to hospital.
"Johan will be out for a few months, possibly until October," the Mapei team director, Patrick Lefevere, said, who questioned whether such a hazardous section should be included in the race.
The Frenchman Frederic Guesdon, the winner last year, also fell in Arenberg forest.
Overall, 50km, or nearly 20 percent of the race, is runn over cobblestones, although that has been reduced as roads are repaved. Some stretches have been placed under protection as historical sites.
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Sami Khedira, Isco and Angel di Maria among Real Madrid players up for grabs this summer
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers (and giant cans of Irn Bru) welcome in Glasgow's Games
Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My Client are a successful software hous...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: **MS DYNAMICS N...