"That's Bernard Thévenet, still France's greatest hero after his triumph in the 1975 Tour de France. He doesn't have much of a chance in Paris-Roubaix because he's not good enough... on le pavé."
I've re-watched A Sunday in Hell: 1976 Paris-Roubaix (directed by Jorgen Leth) countless of times always assured of the ultimate pleasure of viewing one of the finest cycling films ever made. I think it's certainly all about inspiration and a little hero worship, too. It's especially desirable right after a ride, like today, as I found a brief lull in the rain and went off for two hours.
So many stars of that era that had a chance to win; Freddy Maertens, Eddy Merckx, Roger DeVlaeminck, Francesco Moser, Walter Planckaert, Hennie Kuiper, Walter Godefroot... But, there was a whole bunch of riders that had little if no chance in Hell. Two French heroes; Bernard Thévenet & 40 year old Raymond Poulidor were two unlikely riders to conquer le pavé. I love watching supporting rider, Marc Demeyer, taking advantage as team leader Maertens was force to quit after a fall. He surprised everyone to win it!