Paris-Roubaix debutant relives his traumatic day on the cobbles in WhatsApp chat

'I gave my bike to André Greipel and then had two big sips of a Duvel a spectator handed me'

Arkéa Samsic riding the cobbles ahead of Paris-Roubaix (Photo by Francois Lo Presti/AFP/Getty)

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Excacty 174 riders took the start line at Paris-Roubaix 2019, but only 100 finished. That leaves 74 who either crossed the line outside the time limit, or didn't finish at all. This isn't really a surprise, with the cobbles causing many a crash and the general chaos of the race meaning you could simply get forgotten and left behind at the side of the road.

In the aftermath of these big races we always hear from the winners, those who came desperately close, and maybe the heroes the television cameras caught by chance performing heroics against the odds.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.