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Which Paris-Roubaix edition was the best? You decide

The Paris-Roubaix podium, flanked by pyrotechnics
The 2019 Paris-Roubaix podium, flanked by pyrotechnics (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

In a perfect world, the hardened men of the Classics would be tapering and honing their cobble riding skills to get ready for Paris-Roubaix this weekend. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the racing, Cyclingnews readers will determine which of the past 30 editions of the race was the best.

Read back through the links of each of the editions to refresh your memory of the drama, tactics, bad luck and triumph over the past 30 years. Spoiler alert - they're all great races!

The bracket

We scrambled the numbers 1 through 30 using an online number generator to assign a random order to the 1990 to 2019 editions of the race, then grouped the editions by this order into eight heats for Round 1 of voting.

The top two of each heat will advance to four Round 2 heats, with the top two from that round advancing to the semifinal two heats. The top two of each semifinal advance to the finals to determine the Paris-Roubaix edition podium for the past three decades.

Round 1 will take place for 20 hours on Wednesday, April 8, with voting from 1500 BST. Round 2 is set for Thursday, April 9, starting 1500 BST.

Semifinals will take place on Friday, April 10, with the final vote going through the weekend ending approximately when Paris-Roubaix would have ended this year - 1600 BST.

The contenders

Heat A

1995: Franco Ballerini wins after two years of letdown
2009: Tom Boonen solos to win over Filippo Pozzato after Thor Hushovd crashes
2010: Fabian Cancellara strong solo sparks motor accusations
2013: Cancellara out-sprints Sep Vanmarcke for his third

Heat B

1999: Andrea Tafi wins in Mapei sweep
2015: John Degenkolb sprint victory
2016: Mat Hayman out-sprints Boonen to win six weeks after collarbone break
2017: Greg Van Avermaet wins fastest edition

Heat C

2001: Servais Knaven leads Domo podium sweep
2002: Johan Museeuw wins last muddy centenary edition
2006: Cancellara solos to win after leaders disqualified at level crossing
2019: Philippe Gilbert fulfils his destiny

Heat D

1991: Marc Madiot solo
1996: Museeuw leads Mapei podium sweep
1997: Guesdon stuns favourites in eight-man sprint
2018: Peter Sagan escapes 54km out then beats Silvan Dillier

Heat E

1998: Ballerini wins Mapei podium sweep
2000: Museeuw wins after leg injury
2007: Stuart O'Grady goes solo
2008: Boonen gets away to beat Cancellara

Heat F

1990: Planckaert photo finish over Bauer
2003: Peter Van Petegem wins three-man sprint
2012: Tom Boonen goes long, soloing for 52km to equal record
2014: Niki Terpstra wins in tactical battle

Heat G

1992: Gilbert Duclos Lassalle wins solo
2004: Magnus Backstedt sprint victory
2005: Tom Boonen's first win over George Hincapie, Juan Antonio Flecha

Heat H

1993: Duclos Lassalle beats Ballerini in bike throw
1994: Andrei Tchmil wins muddy edition
2011: Johan Vansummeren stays away