Paris-Roubaix 1996

Fabbri (Mapei-GB mechanic)

"I've never seen anything like this, its amazing." Fabrizio Fabbri the Mapei-GB mechanic can't contain his joy. He jumps around like a boy, embraces Bortolami and Ballerini, kisses them and gives them a fatherly invitation "All on the podium, we want to see you all together. This story will be recorded forever in the history of cycling."

Tafi arrives in tears, and Fabbri is transformed into a caring mother "There there Andrea" (OK, literally it was 'Andrea, stai calmo') he says, "we've made a miracle. You are great, we are all great. Come and celebrate with Johan, Gianluca and Franco."


"I'm happy to have arrived with two champions like Museeuw and Bortolami" says Tafi, with tears in his eyes, "I dedicate this to my wife Gloria, who is about to have a baby. I thought of my wife and son all the time I was chasing. I gave the power to push on the front group on the cobbles and believed I worked more than them all. But perhaps victory is to much to ask for, because Museeuw is a champion who deserves it. I also would have liked second, but Bortolami didn't agree. The admiral ordered me to 3rd place entering the velodrome and there I stayed. Maybe another time the places will change, but I can't hide how unhappy I am."


"We raced for the success of the team. Once we had the victory it was a case of deciding the final order. The decision was made my our technicians. Tafi was asked to make the major sacrifice, but in cycling these favours will be repayed. If Museeuw had wanted to he could have dumped us on the last two sections of cobble. It true he said "I want to win" but he could say it because he was the strongest. Me, I'm happy because I've had a stomach upset all week. After Flanders I wanted to go home and didn't expect to be this strong."


"It was an escape with my three team mates without mechanical problems. We didn't dispute the sprint because in our team there is harmony. FIghting it out against each other would have insulted our motto "Victory Together". "

Ballerini did chase his team mates at one stage of the race. "I did it only to complete the victory of our team. I knew this from the crowd, but restrained myself despite the insults and spitting of the Flemish fans. That hurt me to the core but I blocked it out."

Lefevere (Mapei-GB mechanic)

"I decided that Museeuw would win after consulting with Fabbri about 15km from the end. Johan deserved the victory on behalf of the team. It was harder to make the decision about second place. Tafi asked me to give it to him for his wife about to have a baby, but Bortolami has had a bad season and he is a champion who merits respect. Sure there was discussion at the end, I think its noraml when the prize is one such as Roubaix. We have the strongest team in the world, and everyone in it must except the rules, if not they are free to leave. The day the riders don't accept my decisions they can leave. They have all shown themselves trustworthy. "


"I believe I made an error: I tried to ride against a motor cycle but I only had a bike," he said ironically.

"I committed two errors which cost me dearly. When Museeuw, Tafi, Bortolami and Ballerini went it suprised me, it was a bit too strung out to catch them. Serpellini made an opening and I launched a chase when they already had 100 metres. I started by myself and when Ekimov helped me he was too late. The second error I made was losing Ballerini and Zanini's wheels 40km from the end. I made an error on a bend and found myself in the middle of everyone again."


"Mapei-GB dominated the race. I gave everything chasing the leading four because I knew it was the decisive move."


Olaf Ludwig fell at 100km, hit his head and briefly lost consciousness. He will be X-rayed.