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Retro Gallery: Looking through the lens at Paris-Roubaix

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Fausto Coppi (R) poses with his brother Serse Coppi (C) , who has just won the Paris-Roubaix race, on April 18, 1949

Fausto Coppi (R) poses with his brother Serse Coppi (C) , who has just won the Paris-Roubaix race, on April 18, 1949
(Image credit: AFP)
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Marc Madiot rides solo to the win in 1985

Marc Madiot rides solo to the win in 1985
(Image credit: AFP)
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Italy's Andrea Tafi made a solo breakaway in 1999, winning the event ahead of Belgian pair Wilfried Peeters and Tom Steels.

Italy's Andrea Tafi made a solo breakaway in 1999, winning the event ahead of Belgian pair Wilfried Peeters and Tom Steels.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Bernard Hinault during the 1981 Paris-Roubaix.

Bernard Hinault during the 1981 Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) was too good for the opposition in the 2010 edition of the race

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) was too good for the opposition in the 2010 edition of the race
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara after missing out on the win in 2008

Fabian Cancellara after missing out on the win in 2008
(Image credit: AFP)
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Stuart O'Grady gets a kiss from his wife after winning Paris-Roubaix in 2007

Stuart O'Grady gets a kiss from his wife after winning Paris-Roubaix in 2007
(Image credit: AFP)
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George Hincapie crashes out of ther race in 2006

George Hincapie crashes out of ther race in 2006
(Image credit: AFP)
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Dario Pieri on the front in 2003

Dario Pieri on the front in 2003
(Image credit: AFP)
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 Fausto Coppi talks to the press after the 1950 editon of Paris-Roubaix

Fausto Coppi talks to the press after the 1950 editon of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bernard Hinault surges to the line in 1981

Bernard Hinault surges to the line in 1981
(Image credit: AFP)
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Jan Janssen sprints to the finish line of Paris-Roubaix in 1967

Jan Janssen sprints to the finish line of Paris-Roubaix in 1967
(Image credit: AFP)
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Eddy Merckx wins the 1970 Paris-Roubaix

Eddy Merckx wins the 1970 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: AFP)
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Cancellara and Vansummeren on the 2011 Paris-Roubaix podium

Cancellara and Vansummeren on the 2011 Paris-Roubaix podium
(Image credit: AFP)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin) slips clear in 2011

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin) slips clear in 2011
(Image credit: AFP)
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Eros Poli leads the race in 1996

Eros Poli leads the race in 1996
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Francesco Moser won three editions of Paris-Roubaix in a row

Francesco Moser won three editions of Paris-Roubaix in a row
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Francesco Moser hits the front in Paris-Roubaix

Francesco Moser hits the front in Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Francesco Moser won three editions of Paris-Roubaix

Francesco Moser won three editions of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Georges Speicher is forced to fix a puncture in the 1934 Paris-Roubaix

Georges Speicher is forced to fix a puncture in the 1934 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The 1936 finish at Paris-Roubaix

The 1936 finish at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The late Franco Ballerini wins the 1998 edition of the race

The late Franco Ballerini wins the 1998 edition of the race
(Image credit: AFP)
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Belgian cyclist Rudy Dhaenens leads Sean Kelly in the 1987 Paris-Roubaix

Belgian cyclist Rudy Dhaenens leads Sean Kelly in the 1987 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen heads for the finish line in 2012

Tom Boonen heads for the finish line in 2012
(Image credit: AFP)
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Tom Boonen was unbeatable in the 2012 Classics

Tom Boonen was unbeatable in the 2012 Classics
(Image credit: AFP)
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Fabian Cancellara was marked out of the race in 2011

Fabian Cancellara was marked out of the race in 2011
(Image credit: AFP)
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Servais with a smile: Knaven wins Paris-Roubaix in 2001

Servais with a smile: Knaven wins Paris-Roubaix in 2001
(Image credit: AFP)
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Moser leads the favourites in 1980E

Moser leads the favourites in 1980E
(Image credit: AFP)
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Frédéric Moncassin (GAN) leads the favourites in 1998

Frédéric Moncassin (GAN) leads the favourites in 1998
(Image credit: AFP)
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British cyclist Tom Simpson (C) is congratulated at the end of the Paris-Roubaix cycling course, 11 April 1960 in Roubaix, after arriving in ninth place

British cyclist Tom Simpson (C) is congratulated at the end of the Paris-Roubaix cycling course, 11 April 1960 in Roubaix, after arriving in ninth place
(Image credit: AFP)
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Thousands of spectators cheer on the peloton as it passes through in 2003.

Thousands of spectators cheer on the peloton as it passes through in 2003.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Wilfried Peeters put in the hard yards in 1998 and it paid off for his Mapei-Bricobi squad with Franco Ballerini winning the event.

Wilfried Peeters put in the hard yards in 1998 and it paid off for his Mapei-Bricobi squad with Franco Ballerini winning the event.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Fabio Baldato rides in the dust during the 2000 edition, after finishing second at Milan-Sanremo earlier in the year.

Fabio Baldato rides in the dust during the 2000 edition, after finishing second at Milan-Sanremo earlier in the year.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Italy's Andrea Tafi managed second at Paris-Roubaix in the muddy conditions of 1998. Compatriot Franco Ballerini claimed the race win that year.

Italy's Andrea Tafi managed second at Paris-Roubaix in the muddy conditions of 1998. Compatriot Franco Ballerini claimed the race win that year.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Tom Boonen sat behind Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan on the lap around Roubaix velodrome, before launching his winning sprint in the final two corners.

Tom Boonen sat behind Fabian Cancellara and Alessandro Ballan on the lap around Roubaix velodrome, before launching his winning sprint in the final two corners.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The leaders pass by our photographer way back in 1993, the year Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. It was the second of the Frenchman's two wins at his home Classic.

The leaders pass by our photographer way back in 1993, the year Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle. It was the second of the Frenchman's two wins at his home Classic.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Peter Van Petegem crosses the line first in 2003, ahead of Italy's Dario Pieri and Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov.

Peter Van Petegem crosses the line first in 2003, ahead of Italy's Dario Pieri and Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Back in 1990 Mercedes were as common in the convoy as Skodas are today. Here Sean Yates is stopped on the side of the road as the convoy goes past.

Back in 1990 Mercedes were as common in the convoy as Skodas are today. Here Sean Yates is stopped on the side of the road as the convoy goes past.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Australia's Stuart O'Grady pulls through the dust at the front of the peloton in 2007, the year he would claim Roubaix glory.

Australia's Stuart O'Grady pulls through the dust at the front of the peloton in 2007, the year he would claim Roubaix glory.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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As if a day in hell isn't bad enough, it's not just the pave which causes the peloton problems.

As if a day in hell isn't bad enough, it's not just the pave which causes the peloton problems.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It’s a battle just to stay on the bike, as riders show here during the race’s 2004 edition won by Magnus Bäckstedt.

It’s a battle just to stay on the bike, as riders show here during the race’s 2004 edition won by Magnus Bäckstedt.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian Johan Museeuw leads two Mapei-GB team-mates across the line, as the squad fills the podium.

Belgian Johan Museeuw leads two Mapei-GB team-mates across the line, as the squad fills the podium.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Johan Museeuw came up with an interesting salute as he crossed the line in 2000 to win his second Roubaix.

Johan Museeuw came up with an interesting salute as he crossed the line in 2000 to win his second Roubaix.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Johan Museeuw works during the 1995 edition where Mapei team-mate Franco Ballerini claimed victory. A year later the tables would be turned with the Belgian winning from his Italian team-mate.

Johan Museeuw works during the 1995 edition where Mapei team-mate Franco Ballerini claimed victory. A year later the tables would be turned with the Belgian winning from his Italian team-mate.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The peloton makes its way down the 2.4 kilometre sector of pave in the Arenberg forest last year.

The peloton makes its way down the 2.4 kilometre sector of pave in the Arenberg forest last year.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Quick Step's Tom Boonen already has three of these, but by the time he's finished his career could well have enough to build a few metres of his own cobbled road.

Quick Step's Tom Boonen already has three of these, but by the time he's finished his career could well have enough to build a few metres of his own cobbled road.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The late Franco Ballerini, seen here en route to his 1995 victory, will be honoured at this year's race.

The late Franco Ballerini, seen here en route to his 1995 victory, will be honoured at this year's race.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Michele Bartoli rides at the front in dusty conditions back in 2004, when big Swede Magnus Bäckstedt won the title.

Michele Bartoli rides at the front in dusty conditions back in 2004, when big Swede Magnus Bäckstedt won the title.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Riders cross the finish line inside Roubaix's velodrome during the 1990 edition.

Riders cross the finish line inside Roubaix's velodrome during the 1990 edition.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Franco Ballerini won on the cobbles twice during his career, firstly in 1995 then again in 1998.

Franco Ballerini won on the cobbles twice during his career, firstly in 1995 then again in 1998.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The 2000 edition was a dusty one, as seen here with Cofidis' Philippe Gaumont.

The 2000 edition was a dusty one, as seen here with Cofidis' Philippe Gaumont.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Massimo Ghirotto rode the 1990 Paris-Roubaix in the lead up to the Tour de France, where he won a stage that year.

Massimo Ghirotto rode the 1990 Paris-Roubaix in the lead up to the Tour de France, where he won a stage that year.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Robert Hayles struggles in the mud during the 2002 edition, the year Johan Museeuw claimed his final Roubaix title.

Robert Hayles struggles in the mud during the 2002 edition, the year Johan Museeuw claimed his final Roubaix title.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Three time winner Francesco Moser rides in one of his final Roubaixs during the 1986 edition.

Three time winner Francesco Moser rides in one of his final Roubaixs during the 1986 edition.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Busy, busy: Images like this one, from the 2007 edition, show why riders consider it to be such a battle just to finish Roubaix. With this many people operating on rough surfaces in such confined spaces, anything can and does go wrong.

Busy, busy: Images like this one, from the 2007 edition, show why riders consider it to be such a battle just to finish Roubaix. With this many people operating on rough surfaces in such confined spaces, anything can and does go wrong.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

As we look forward to this Sunday's edition of Paris-Roubaix with Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) the outright favourite to claim a third title, Cyclingnews has compiled this retrospective gallery, looking back at the most famous and popular one day race on the cycling calender.

The course itself has changed throughout the years, with the famed Trouée d'Arenberg now run in the opposite direction while it was left out altogether in 2005. But from Coppi to Cancellara, Boonen to Bobet and Ballerini, Paris-Roubaix remains the most prestigious one-day race on the planet.

 Click here to view the gallery.