Roubaix winner broke arm 5 weeks ago, did 1,000km on ‘turbo trainer’

Posted on: April 10th, 2016

Aged 37 years and in his 17th year as a pro, Matt Hayman on his way to winning Paris-Roubaix just five weeks after breaking his arm (Photo: Sirotti)


The surprise winner of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, Matt Hayman has explained that he did over 1,000km on the Zwift virtual trainer in his house and garage to keep his dream of riding the race alive after a crash just five weeks ago.

The Australian broken his right arm in a crash at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium on February 27th, leaving less than 1½ months to recover and retain the fitness needed to ride the Hell of the North.

He not only rode, but got into the early escape – which proved the winning of the race – and led out the sprint around the velodrome in Roubaix almost six hours after starting out in Compiegne.

In his 17th year as a pro and riding his 15th Paris-Roubaix the 37-year-old had never made the podium before and was tipped by nobody to win.

But he beat Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) to take the win, saying he felt “disbelief” at his “pretty surreal win”.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Hayman. “I’ve had enough bad luck in Paris-Roubaix in the last fifteen years.

“Everything went right today, I was in a good place mentally, I was relaxed and I was trying not to put pressure on myself.”

“With one kilometre to go I was thinking that I would be happy just to be on the podium.

“I had a feeling that my legs were pretty good and I was happy to ride with Tom (Boonen) until the finish line but then it all came back together for the last lap.”


Hayman can hardly believe it as he crosses the line with his hands in the air at the end of Paris-Roubaix (Photo: Sirotti)


He continued: “I’ve been riding some track recently after breaking my arm five weeks ago.

“My legs were feeling pretty good going into the finishing straight when I started my sprint, I could see Tom’s tyre underneath my arm but I managed to keep going.

“I haven’t really raced since breaking my arm in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

“The doctors were pretty convinced that my Classics were done but I really wanted to get back as quickly as possible.

“I spent a lot of time on the home trainer; I was in my own little world, riding in the garage twice a day.

I knew I had to hold onto the months and months of training that I do for the Classics every year.

This is my 17th year as a professional and it started in October. I spent a lot of time away, time at altitude, a lot of time away from the family, to be ready for the Classics.

“I didn’t want all that to be taken way by a crash. So if there was no chance that I could get back, then I’d do it.

“I did two races in Spain last week but before the race I was relaxed, I was carefree, to enjoy the race and see what came.

“When I went in the break, it was the first time I’d moved all day, so I was full of energy.

I knew I had to stay calm and control things, then the more I got towards the finish, the more surreal it became but I was just relaxed and having fun.”