Skip to main content

Arvesen on the Paris-Roubaix cobblestones without a saddle

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky)

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Kurt-Asle Arvesen was determined to make it to the finish line in the velodrome in what was probably his last Paris-Roubaix, but the Sky rider was not ready to do so by riding on the cobblestones without a saddle. A crash with about 60km to go broke his saddle and it eventually fell off entirely and he was forced out of the race.

“It would have been fun for me personally to get into the velodrome. Right then it was pretty bitter, though I would only have gotten into one of the last groups,” he told

The crash was his own fault, he freely admitted. He hit a cobblestone, flew over the handlebars and landed in a field. “I remember thinking – now I will break my collarbone. But it went smoothly.”

He was uninjured, but the same could not be said of his bike. The Norwegian climbed right back on and took off, only to discover that one of the screws holding the saddle on had come loose. Finally the whole saddle came loose before falling off.

“I tried to continue for another 20 kilometres, but I had to give up after one of the worst cobblestone sections (Mons-en-Pevele).”

Riding on the cobbles without a saddle was not easy. “Usually you can sit back a little and rest a bit, but my back got really tired as did the upper body in general. It was hard and brutal,"

Still, he was able to laugh about it. “If you aren't good enough to win, you have to find something else to draw attention.”