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Batteries not included
Photo: Joe Hell
Looking around for some words on Paris-Roubaix that hadn't already been written by the other riders, I looked back in my diary to the Friday we left. On the top of the page, there's a pencil list which says:
· Charge batteries.
I don't know what the batteries were for, but it kind of sums it up really.
Looking back, it all seems a bit surreal, and I wish I'd taken some of the painkillers. The enduring memory for me was how much my fingers hurt at the end of each section. The cobbles affected everyone in different ways, some in the knees, some in the arms, but for some reason, the joints in my fingers felt like they were being rattled apart. Each sector seemed to make the bones looser and looser, and it felt like they were knocking together harder and harder. The relentless juddering was having the same effect on the bikes, with previously tight components being slowly dislocated, until loose and knocking, threatening to damage surrounding parts and take the whole bike to pieces.
Watch Hors Course, a film by Ben Ingham.
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