Paris - Roubaix 2002
14 Apr 2002
So much stronger than all his adversaries that even a comparison with them seems meaningless - that’s how JOHANN MUSEEUW looked at the 100th Paris-Roubaix.
In fact on the day Museeuw was so much stronger than anybody else that he could even afford to eliminate his own teammates with his continuous attacks (Knaven, last year’s winner, was among them) at the deciding point in the race.
The decisive attack, at 40 km from the finish line, immediately made the gap: 8”, 12”, 17”, 24”… Museeuw was getting 4-6 seconds per km to his pursuers, both on the pave stretches and on the asphalt ones.
“Chase him!” The U.S. Postal George Hincapie regularly took over from his companion, Tom Boonen, trying to catch Museeuw with all of their energy. However, Weseman placed second with a gap 3’04”.
In the last 40 km Museeuw gained, on average, 4.6 second per km, riding approximately 2.5km/h faster than his pursuers. This means that he thrust an average power output of at least 40-50 watts more than his rivals. This difference is about 10—12% of the average power output unleashed by the strongest riders during the last hour of the race.
Something to note, Museeuw pedalled at a much lower pedaling cadence than his immediate pursuers: between 70 and 80 RPM unlike Hincapie and Boonen who were pedaling at about 90-95 RPM. This last comment, together with the difference in power output, shows us that Johann Museeuw pushed 35% more strength at each revolution.