I keep squeezing my hands, my knuckles are sore, signs of blisters on the palms. I didn’t get much sleep on Sunday night, but that has become the norm for me the night after Roubaix. I never sleep well. My mind plays images of the race over and over, as I try to piece together what happened. It all happens so fast during the race, you are so focused that it’s not until you are laying there awake in the dark, trying to rest a body that no longer has adrenalin masking it aches, that you have time to go back and try to piece together how you ended up where you did.
The race that I have been thinking about for weeks, months even, the one that motivates me whenever I have a long training ride during the Australian summer, on those dead country roads somewhere out the back of nowhere, seeing my bike computer tick over six hours, yes this is what I need to be good for my race in April.
Like always the race delivered, we smashed along the cobbles, the roads were lined with fans that cheered for us all. We fought with each other and with the cobbles under blue skies. Since winning this race I have acquired many more fans and you can clearly hear your name being called out, its a nice feeling, rattling over the pave with people calling your name because they know you have won here, two years ago I was able to tame the beast that is Roubaix.
But now it’s done, all over. Finished. The results are in. I tell myself I have to be happy, I had no more to give. I made good decisions, for 200km I did what I needed to do, I used my years of experience and placed myself where I needed to be. But then that’s just where race starts, where Peter attacked and no-one could respond, then others went and I knew all I could do was follow.
I got to the Velodrome empty, how I want to be at the end of Roubaix, I left it all out there. I then went in search of my very own shower, can’t help but touch the plaque on the stone showers that says, Hayman M. Vainqueur 2016, a very deep sense of achievement washes over me, followed by a hot shower.
This year that restless night was spent in an airport hotel, bikes pack, early start on a flight to Brisbane, twelve years since my first Commonwealth Games I am on my way to the Gold Coast. What do you get a guy that has everything for his 40th Birthday? Well, jumping on a plane after being away for weeks on end doing the cobbles classics to fly to Australia for one race and having a wife at home supporting me do that, I can’t think of anything better, being in Australia, wearing the Green and Gold, that’s a gift money can’t buy.
Mathew Hayman is the epitome of hard work and persistence with both of these attributes leading to extensive success.
After 16 years of competing as a professional cyclist, Mathew fulfilled his ultimate dream by winning the 2016 Paris – Roubaix.
Mathew captured the hearts of all cycling enthusiasts with his courageous performance within the closing stage of this iconic one-day classic.
Mathew has been a senior member for many of the Marquee Grand Tour Teams including Rabobank, Team Sky and GreenEdge. Notably, he was also the winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Road Race.