Italian had hoped to return to cobbled Monument at age of 52 to mark 20th anniversary of his victory

A fractured collarbone has forced Andrea Tafi to give up his dream of racing Paris-Roubaix at the age of 52.

The Italian had planned to mark the 20th anniversary of his 1999 win in the cobbled Monument by taking part in next month’s race.

However, a crash in an amateur race yesterday resulted in Tafi breaking his left clavicle.

According to La Nazione, the incident took place during a race on his home roads outside Florence when a team mate riding ahead of him braked suddenly.

Even before yesterday’s crash, it was looking more and more unlikely that Tafi would be able to take part in the race due to difficulties in obtaining the necessary UCI licence and finding a time that would back his project.

Tafi, who retired in 2015 announced last October that he planned to try and return to the race known as the Hell of the North.

This year’s edition of Paris-Roubaix takes place in four weeks’ time on Sunday 14 April.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.