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A look back at the most bizarre edition of Paris-Roubaix: in 1949 there were... 2 winners

Paris-Roubaix For the most bizarre edition of Paris-Roubaix, we have to go back to 1949. That year with André Mahé, and He Took two winners to the hall of fame

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A look back at the most bizarre edition of Paris-Roubaix: in 1949 there were... 2 winners
Paris-Roubaix For the most bizarre edition of Paris-Roubaix, we have to go back to 1949. That year with André Mahé, and He Took two winners to the hall of fame of the Helleklassieker. Huh?

17 april 1949. 70 years ago. Fausto Coppi and Rik Van Steenbergen are the big favourites in Paris-Roubaix, but the Belgian Frans Leenen dives with the French André Mahé and Jesus-Jacques Moujica the final kilometer. A sprint with z’n threes, or so it seems. But just for the pay of the velodrome, the three front-runners by a policeman in the wrong direction is outputted.

“I was at the event just behind the three victims and I can confirm that police officers the way barred and Moujica, Mahé and Leenen with armsignalen intentionally the wrong side opstuurden,” said race director Jacques Goddet later in L'équipe. “Not an action to be proud of.”

the Influence of brother Fausto

Back to the course. The leiderstrio return to and drive through a small entrance -not through the big gate - the cycling track. Then sprint Mahé to the victory. And not much later, shows that He Took, brother of the famous Fausto, is the fastest of the chasing group. “I had my zegeboeket received and was even already in the shower when I heard that Fausto and his brother had turned to complaint to the jury. The reason for this? Because I the official trail had not been followed,” says Mahé. “It was clear that monsieur Coppi necessarily wanted his little brother to have a great price won.”

And effective. Mahé a short time after the arrival downgraded, the young Coppi, the winner of Paris-Roubaix. “It was like a slap in my face. My ears started ringing, I looked to the people without something to see”, they said afterwards, in Mahé. A bitter pill spoken. Especially as Mahé and his companions actually 220 meters more travelled than the other riders.

Five days later, a new twist. Mahé is by the French federation once again as the winner indicated. The Italian cycling federation to protest at the UCI and Fausto Coppi threatens never more in Paris-Roubaix start. Consternation everywhere when the UCI in August, a drastic decision: the edition of 1949 is repealed, there is no winner. The Coppi's, the French and the Italians angry, and then in October the final knot is made. Mahé and Coppi to win both the Helleklassieker. Two winners, in 1949. Unique on the hall of fame.

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