Been thinking and talking and writing about all the ways Roubaix is crazy, the plastic bag in 1988, and 1949 when there were two winners, Serse Coppi and Andre Mahe (plus 1950 when Fausto won, making it, as far as I have thought about it, the only consecutive wins by brothers in any Monument), and in 1981 when Hinault hit a dog in the Gruson secteur (sometimes considered a part of the Carrefour secteur) and crashed while leading a small escape that included Mr. Paris-Roubaix, Roger De Vlaeminck.
Hinault got up, chased and rejoined the break, and won in a multi-rider sprint in the velodrome. One of the most exciting editions ever. In the top photo, you can see the dog, a faint black figure, in front of the riders. It has just lunged out onto the cobbles. In the bottom photo, Hinault has already crashed — you can see him heaped on the ground, between the two leading riders — and the dog has gotten up and is making a panicked escape to the left.
It’s a black figure, angled upward from right to left just in front of the blue jersey leading the split. (That’s not De Vlaeminck in a Brooklyn jersey, as you might guess. He was at that time riding for DAF Trucks, a primarily white jersey.) For a few years, the dog was said to be named Gruson. I think that’s turned out to be legend, but that would still be a good name for some cyclist’s dog, obscure yet full of meaning.
The most I know about the dog is that Hinault once said it was a black poodle with a red collar, and that it was in my mind as I rode the cobbles last year then wrote about them this year for my Stoepid Week story, because at one point on some cobbles we passed a dog and it seemed to know everything about me.