Remembering Paris-Roubaix : 1994

After having missed the 1993 edition of Paris-Roubaix due to a coccyx fracture, Marc Madiot returned to the Queen of the Classics in 1994 for a last dance. However, the race did not go as expected and ultimately brought his retirement forward.

It was my last Paris-Roubaix in 1991. It is the one that marked the end of my career. I was in a small team with Yvon, which was called Catavana-A.S. Corbeil-Essonnes-Cedico. It was kind of my farewell tour and Paris-Roubaix was my last big goal as a rider. I finished this Paris-Roubaix earlier than expected, with a crash. Philippe Bouvet, who was in charge of RadioTour, saw me on the side of the road. I remember that our eyes met and the next day, he wrote in the newspaper something like: “I think it was the last time we saw Madiot in Paris-Roubaix. What if it was the end?”. He got it right.

When I fell, I knew that I was going to hurt myself and that’s what happened. I was put in the ambulance, I got to the hospital, and the first thing I asked for was to watch the end of the race on TV. I had a trochanter fracture so they didn’t quite understand why I was asking for this. It may seem terrible to abandon your last Roubaix with a crash, but no: I was fine with it.

I followed the end of the race and two hours later, my brother Yvon and my sports director Alain Gallopin got to the hospital. They thought they’d find me completely devastated. No! I was in peace, I was good. I knew it was over. Psychologically, my career ended that day. I raced a little later but it was over anyway. I had lived it all, I had got to the end of my way, the circle was complete. It was time. I had no regrets. I said to myself: “Paris-Roubaix gave me everything, today, it takes it away from me, it’s fate, period.”