Paris – Roubaix, 1956. On the 8th of April, the riders took off for the 54th edition. It was a sunny day. There were many attacks in the beginning of the race, but in the middle of it all the peloton was back together again. Now it was time for the favorites of the race to make a move. And they did. A group of six got away on one of the cobbled roads. The six riders were Gauthier, Debruyne, Forestier, Van Steenbergen, Lauredi and Bobet. Forestier was eager to win, because he wanted to go for ‘the double’. A week before, he had become the winner of the Tour of Flanders. Van Steenbergen was the one to be afraid of, because he was the best sprinter of the six. Nevertheless, he threw away his chances by responding on every attack that was made by any of the other five riders. When all six entered Roubaix, they were still together.
It was going to be a long sprint. Eventually, it was Louison Bobet who outsprinted the other five. Louison Bobet, a Frenchman. He was loved in France. He was riding every race with full dedication and he never gave up. He already won the Tour de France three times in a row, he was the winner of other classics like Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders. And in 1954, he became World Champion on the road. So his palmares was impressive. The only thing that was missing was Paris-Roubaix. On a sunny day in April, 1956, he finally could say that he was the winner of the ‘hell of the North’.