Australian Mathew Hayman of Team ORICA-SCOTT grabbed the win at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix despite breaking his arm 5 weeks earlier during the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Classic. Although doctors told him that his season was over, he kept training on Zwift to stay in shape and get ready for the Hell of the North. He was able to stay at home and allow his arm to heal while virtually cycling with folks from all over the globe. He raced in Spain a week before the big day to get the road feeling back, but there is nothing that is like Paris-Roubaix.
Hayman was in the early break of Paris-Roubaix, raced smart and stayed near the front all day. But after he collided with Ian Stannard in the famous Carrefour de L’Abre cobblestone section he lost contact with the leaders and it looked like his day was over. But it ain’t over until the fat lady sings and Hayman did not give up. The Aussie dug deep and clawed his way back to the leaders and in the end outsprinted the legendary Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), Ian Stannard (Team Sky), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) in the Velodrome for the coveted win and that unique cobblestone trophy.
After the race Hayman seemed stunned and the tall Aussie talked passionately about what this title means.
“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,” said Hayman. “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.”
Hayman had ridden Paris-Roubaix 15 times prior and in 2016 the stars finally aligned for the popular Aussie. But it was not just luck, according to TrainingPeaks Hayman averaged 313W, or 3.82W/kg over the almost 6 hours of racing. His Normalized Power® was 351W, giving him a relatively low Variabiltiy Index® of 1.12. You can check out his complete file right here
Although healthy this year the Aussie who resides in Belgium still spends a lot of time riding on the trainer at home and recently shared that his longest ride to date took place on Zwift.
If you want to relive that 2016 event through the eyes of the ORICA-SCOTT team - check out this video and this should get you pumped for the upcoming 2017 race on Sunday April 9th.
You can follow Mathew Hayman on twitter via @mathew_hayman