'I didn't think the mechanics put a chain on my bike' - Magnus Bäckstedt on his Paris-Roubaix victory, 20 years later

Two decades have passed since the Swede won in Roubaix. He remembers it like it was yesterday

Magnus Bäckstedt at Paris-Roubaix in 2004
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"It just felt like there was a different vibe in the air that morning," says Magnus Bäckstedt. He's talking about 11 April 2004. It's a day the Swede has spoken about countless times since – one that came to define his career. Now, two decades later, he has no trouble recalling it. 

"I remember all of it, to be honest with you," he tells Cycling Weekly, and begins at the top. "Rolling to the start, I could feel that I was on a special day. As soon as we started riding, I didn't touch the pedals for the first 150km. Even getting through the Forest [of Arenberg] and out the other side, it was relatively easy. I just felt like I was really on top of it."

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Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.