In 1985, two days prior to his 26th birthday, Marc Madiot celebrated his first victory in the Hell of the North. It all came a year after a disastrous 1984 edition both for him and for his team, which he recalls here.
Paris-Roubaix 1984 ended up as a disaster for the Renault team: we didn’t have a single rider at the finish. Zero! There were still four or five of us in the first peloton when we entered the Arenberg. When we came out of it, we were no longer in the battle. Some were certainly still in the race but everyone was dropped. There is no specific explanation for this. That’s racing, that’s how Paris-Roubaix works. We crashed, we had flat tires and… Curtain!
That day, I also experienced quite a memorable story because after I withdrew, I found myself in a commissaires’ car that finished just behind the group of Sean Kelly, who won that year. This is typically the kind of thing that could not happen nowadays, it would be unimaginable! I actually punctured and found myself alone in nature. The commissaires’ car passed by and picked me up by the side of the road.
After such a day, there is only one thing to do: forget and move on to something else.