The Kiwi on Bora-Argon 18 suffered a front wheel puncture in the most notorious and difficult of the 27 cobbled sectors in the Hell of the North, causing him to lose control and land on his face and wrist on the moist stones.
Where many riders would have thrown in the towel, the 25 year-old nicknamed ‘The Flying Mullet’ battled on for 95km to the Roubaix velodrome with crusts of blood smeared down his face and across his wrists.
“I punctured my front wheel at 60km an hour and went face first into the ground, that was about it,” Archbold explained by the infield of the track.
“I was in a group of about eight in the last feed station [with 68km to go] and they all stopped, but I convinced them to carry on. We got caught by the last four guys [in the race] with about a kilometre to go.”
Archbold rode onto the track with fellow New Zealander Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge) but confessed to being unable to fully enjoy the experience of finishing his first ever senior Paris-Roubaix.
“It was just a long day. Having a fellow New Zealander with me made it more enjoyable,” he added.
“I didn’t really feel anything in the last 50km. It’s been a long week, I crashed twice on Wednesday [at Scheldeprijs] too. So the body’s been pretty sore
"Now I’ve got a flight to make tonight and then I’ll sort my wrist out later on. But I might meet Sam [Bewley] in the Irish Bar in Girona later too."
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Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.
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