• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Servais Knaven to make history with a 16th Paris-Roubaix and equal Impanis' record

Following Sunday Servais Knaven will be riding his 16th Paris Roubaix. So far he has finished his first 15, which brings him to the level of Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle.

If he finishes this year's Paris-Roubaix he will equal the record of finished Paris-Roubaix, which is owned by Belgian Raymond Impanis since 1963.

Note that Raymond Impanis rode on the old route with the Mur de Doullens and the virage de Wattignies. It was definitely an easier route.

That shows how great a record that would be. I hope he will make it to the velodrome.

Here's the list of his performances in Paris-Roubaix:

36th in 95
30th in 96
30th in 97
39th in 98
30th in 99
12th in 00
1st in 01
13th in 02
7th in 03
33rd in 04
39th in 05
44th in 06
70th in 07
34th in 08
36th in 09

Performances by Raymond Impanis:

1947: 4th
1948: 21st
1949: 13th
1950: NC
1951: 6th
1952: 22th
1953: 7th
1954: 1st
1955: 6th
1956: 44th
1957: 6th
1958: 9th
1959: 10th
1960: 10th
1961: 20th
1962: 9th
1963: 40th

Performances by Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle:

1978 : 28th
1979 : 25th
1980 : 2nd
1981 : 22th
1982 : 20th
1983 : 2nd
1984 : NC
1985 : NC
1986 : 34th
1987 : 17th
1988 : NC
1989 : 4th
1990 : 6th
1991 : 12th
1992 : 1st
1993 : 1st
1994 : 7th
1995 : 19th
Oct 29, 2009
Visit site
Bala Verde said:
What happened to knaven today?


DNF Servais Knaven (Ned) Team Milram

hope that it doesn't predict his form for PR!

Knaven on his own site:

"Today I stood at the start of my 15th RvV. A strong wind meant that the first half of the race was much tougher than normal. My legs weren't very good. I already felt that on the flat part of the race. After a puncture, about 100km into the race, I never really got back to a good position near the front. This meant I frequently got caught behind crashes, which didn't help the legs either. On the Knokteberg I crashed into a ditch and after that it was curtains for me. I managed to reach a group of about 5 a bit further on, but we all called it quits in the 2nd feed zone. I'm really pissed, because normally I'm better than this."
Oct 29, 2009
Visit site
After the above message on his website I had entertained the thought that 16 might have been one too far after all, but really chuffed he did get across the line well. Face it, you don't want to see the counter permanently stuck at 15 if crossing 16 is the bar a legend get measured by.
53 x 11 said:
A great ride, as were all the others. I was checking the coverage for him.

Truly impressive. Here is a great pic of the man in action:

Great job once again. Does anyone know if he plans on riding next year so that he will have a chance to break the record? I know that Milram is ending their sponsorship and I don't know if a replacement has been found, so I don't know how this will impact his chances.
Highlander said:
Great job once again. Does anyone know if he plans on riding next year so that he will have a chance to break the record? I know that Milram is ending their sponsorship and I don't know if a replacement has been found, so I don't know how this will impact his chances.
I'm sure Skil or Vacansoleil wil have a place for him, even if it's only to ride another Roubaix and then quit.
Oct 29, 2009
Visit site
There is a small post-race interview snippet on his own site, done for the Dutch NOS, who asked him this very question.

His reply:
"I Don't know, it would be great, a beautiful challenge for sure. But we'll see. I have some time to think about it, we'll see".

In another post-race interview for a local Dutch TV station, having been asked if he realised what he'd accomplished, he replied that he didn't really reflect on it much, but because he got so many well-wishes ahead of the race, especially on the day, actually finishing had become something of a real goal after all. And having been asked the same inevitable question, he did say that he is having certain things in his head and "it could be" that he'll quickly make decisions that will decide if he'll continue cycling for another year, or if he'll spend his 40th in front of the TV.

His own race report on his site:

"The hard wind made it a tough race. I felt great all day and was usually able to maintain a good position near the front. At 80km [note: "left" or "behind me" isn't clear] I suddenly realised that I would make the finish, which caused a small lapse in concentration. On a pave, I found myself too far to the back, and at the end of it, I was dropped with a small group from the main bunch. We kept trailing 15sec for quite a stretch, but after a while we lost more terrain. Still, we did overtake several riders, and I finished in 43rd spot. No races for 3 weeks now. A nice break to recover. Tomorrow I'll be a guest on "Holland Sport", on TV."

Given that he felt that he only lost touch with the front group because of a lapse of concentration, and not because he wasn't good enough, maybe he'll tuck on another year, team permitting. It's certainly a better frame of mind to start pondering with, than if he had fallen short because of poor legs. Given last week, during the RvV, he did say that he didn't have the legs at all.

I suspect that for a few days , #17 will be mentioned a lot to him. It might become a tempting carrot after all.