Schlagwort-Archive: Paris-Roubaix

Paris-Roubaix U23 Espoirs 164km

Plomi Foto

1 TEUTENBERG Tim Torn Lidl – Trek Future Racing 3:48:29
2 DONALDSON Robert Trinity Racing 25 10 ,,
3 ORINS Robin Lotto Dstny Development Team 20 7 ,,
4 LE HUITOUZE Eddy Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ 15 4 0:15
5 VAN MECHELEN Vlad Development Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 10 2 ,,
6 ASKEY Ben Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ 5 1 ,,
7 ARTZ Huub Wanty – ReUz – Technord 3 ,,
8 DEL GROSSO Tibor Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team 1 ,,
9 VERSTRYNGE Emiel Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team 1 ,,
10 THORNLEY Callum Trinity Racing 1 ,,

Paris-Roubaix – 2024 – 260 Km

Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Mathieu Van der Poel delivered a masterpiece in the 2024 Paris-Roubaix, pulling off a long-range solo attack and a number of records that now belong in history. Following his Tour de Flanders victory last Sunday, he becomes the 10th-ever rider to win the cobbled Monument double, and the second-ever to achieve it while wearing the rainbow jersey after Rik van Looy in 1962. His 60-kilometre solo ride to the Vélodrome André Pétrieux becomes the longest winning move in the 21st century, while his 3’00” winning margin is the largest in the last 20 editions of the race. His teammate Jasper Philipsen crossed the finish line 2nd, re-enacting the one-two that Alpecin-Deceuninck already sealed in 2023, with Lidl-Trek’s Mads Pedersen rounding out the podium.

1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu NED Alpecin-Deceuninck 05:25:58
2 PHILIPSEN Jasper BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck 03:00
3 PEDERSEN Mads DEN Lidl-Trek 03:00
4 POLITT Nils GER UAE Team Emirates 03:00
5 KÜNG Stefan SUI Groupama-FDJ 03:15
6 VERMEERSCH Gianni BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck 03:47
7 PITHIE Laurence NZL Groupama-FDJ 03:48
8 MEEUS Jordi BEL BORA-hansgrohe 04:47
9 WÆRENSKJOLD Søren NOR Uno-X Mobility 04:47
10 MIHKELS Madis EST Intermarché-Wanty 04:47
11 DEGENKOLB John GER Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 04:47
12 WRIGHT Fred GBR Bahrain Victorious 04:47
13 VAN GESTEL Dries BEL TotalEnergies 04:47
14 FEDOROV Yevgeniy KAZ Astana Qazaqstan Team 04:47
15 WELLENS Tim BEL UAE Team Emirates 04:47
16 VAN DIJKE Tim NED Team Visma | Lease a Bike 04:47
17 PIDCOCK Tom GBR INEOS Grenadiers 06:20
18 MALECKI Kamil POL Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team 06:22
19 VAN DIJKE Mick NED Team Visma | Lease a Bike 06:22
20 SLOCK Liam BEL Lotto Dstny 06:22
21 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR Uno-X Mobility 06:28
22 TEUNISSEN Mike NED Intermarché-Wanty 06:28
24 NAESEN Oliver BEL Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale 06:28
25 LAPORTE Christophe FRA Team Visma | Lease a Bike 06:28
26 BISSEGGER Stefan SUI EF Education-EasyPost 06:28
27 ABRAHAMSEN Jonas NOR Uno-X Mobility 06:33
28 TILLER Rasmus NOR Uno-X Mobility 07:00
29 BITTNER Pavel CZE Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 07:00
30 GACHIGNARD Thomas FRA TotalEnergies 07:01
31 VAN ASBROECK Tom BEL Israel-Premier Tech 07:16
32 EEKHOFF Nils NED Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 07:16
33 STEIMLE Jannik GER Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team 07:16
34 PAGE Hugo FRA Intermarché-Wanty 07:16
35 ALLEGAERT Piet BEL Cofidis 07:16
36 LAMPAERT Yves BEL Soudal Quick-Step 07:16
37 ASKEY Lewis GBR Groupama-FDJ 07:16
38 JACOBS Johan SUI Movistar Team 07:16
39 DECLERCQ Tim BEL Lidl-Trek 07:16
40 DE PESTEL Sander BEL Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale 07:16
41 GRADEK Kamil POL Bahrain Victorious 07:16
42 VAN LERBERGHE Bert BEL Soudal Quick-Step 07:16
43 VACEK Mathias CZE Lidl-Trek 07:22
44 HAGENES Per Strand NOR Team Visma | Lease a Bike 07:29
45 PLANCKAERT Edward BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck 08:05
46 SARREAU Marc FRA Groupama-FDJ 08:09
47 THEUNS Edward BEL Lidl-Trek 08:40
48 SWIFT Connor GBR INEOS Grenadiers 08:47
49 WALSCHEID Max GER Team Jayco-AlUla 09:34
50 PASQUALON Andrea ITA Bahrain Victorious 09:34
51 BJERG Mikkel DEN UAE Team Emirates 09:34
52 VERMOTE Julien BEL Team Visma | Lease a Bike 09:34
53 HOOLE Daan NED Lidl-Trek 09:34
54 TURGIS Anthony FRA TotalEnergies 09:34
55 DUJARDIN Sandy FRA TotalEnergies 09:34
56 VAN MOER Brent BEL Lotto Dstny 09:34
57 GAUTHERAT Pierre FRA Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale 09:34
58 SWIFT Ben GBR INEOS Grenadiers 09:34
59 PLANCKAERT Baptiste BEL Intermarché-Wanty 09:38

172 riders took the start on the 121st edition of Paris-Roubaix at 11:26, off to ride 259,7 kilometres between Compiègne and the Vélodrome André Pétrieux in Roubaix with 29 cobbled sectors to be covered. 2022 winner Dylan van Baarle (Visma | Lease a Bike) was a last-minute withdrawal, and so were UAE Team Emirates’ Michael Vink and Astana Qazaqstan’s Michael Mørkøv. It took ‘only’ 22 kilometres for Per Strand Hagenes (Visma | Lease a Bike), Rasmus Tiller (Uno X Mobility), Kasper Asgreen (Soudal-Quick Step), Marco Haller (Bora-Hansgrohe), Liam Slock (Lotto-dstny), Gleb Syritsa (Astana Qazaqstan) and Kamil Malecki (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) to go clear. Shortly after, Dusan Rajovic (Bahrain Victorius) and Dries de Bondt (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale) also took off in a bid to join the breakaway that was only successful 80 kilometres into the race. A big crash at kilometer 37 meant the end of the race for Lidl-Trek’s Jonathan Milan and Ineos Grenadiers’ Elia Viviani, affecting as well the likes of UAE Team Emirates’ Nils Politt, EF’s Alberto Bettiol and Intermarché’s Laurenz Rex amongst others.

Alpecin-Deceuninck kept the race on a tight leash
54,1 kilometres were covered in the first hour of racing as the riders benefited from remarkable tailwinds. The maximum gap for the break was clocked at 1’40”, 76 kilometres into the race, over a peloton led by Lidl-Trek and Alpecin-Deceuninck. The cobbles started with Sector 29, Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96 – 2,2 km) ***, upon which the break only had 1’25” on a pack that was blown the pieces by Alpecin-Deceuninck’s steady tempo on the pavé. The breakaway was eventually reeled in 120 kilometres into the race by a 40-strong group with Mathieu Van der Poel’s teammates at the helm. Meanwhile, podium contenders such as Visma’s Christophe Laporte, Soudal’s Yves Lampaert, Arkéa’s Luca Mozzato or Movistar’s Oier Lazkano and Iván García Cortina were dropped for good. Josuha Tarling’s race came to an end at sector 24 from Capelle to Ruesnes (km 129,3 – 1,7 km) *** as the race jury disqualified him for holding onto the Ineos Grenadiers’ team car following a puncture.

First attack by Van der Poel in the Arenberg Forest
Lidl-Trek’s Mads Pedersen led the front group into the Trouée d’Arenberg (km 164,4 – 2,3 km) *****, where Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) launched a powerful acceleration. Only his teammate Jasper Philipsen, Mick van Dijke (Visma | Lease a Bike) and the aforementioned Pedersen could keep up with his effort, that was frustrated just out of the cobbles when Philipsen punctured. The front group reformed, and three riders rose to the occasion to establish a new breakaway out of Sector 18 from Wallers to Hélesmes (km 167.4 — 1.6 km) ***: Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) and Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck). The latter did not cooperate as he was protecting the chances of his leader, and the move was shut down by Lidl-Trek with 68 kilometres to go.

The rainbow jersey powered away 60 kilometres from the finish
Vermeersch led the front group into sector 13, Orchies (km 199,5 – 1,7 km) ***, where Van der Poel attacked with 60 kilometres to go to power solo up the road. No one could match his acceleration and the Dutch rider quickly built a sizable gap, clocked at 3’00” with 10 kilometers to go, and therefore defended successfully his 2023 victory. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates), Stefan Küng, Laurence Pithie (Groupama-FDJ) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) went clear from the chasing group during the Mons-en-Pévèle (km 211,1 – 3 km) ***** cobbled sector, fighting for the two remaining podium spots. Pithie crashed out of contention with 30 kilometers to go, while Küng got dropped in Gruson (km 244,8 – 1,1 km) **. In the three-up sprint that settled things down between the chasers at the Vélodrome, Philipsen took the best of Pedersen and Politt.

Paris – Roubaix Espoirs – U23 – 166 Km

Plomi Foto

1 TEUTENBERG Tim Torn GER Lidl-Trek Future Racing 03:48:29
2 DONALDSON Robert GBR Trinity Racing 00:00
3 ORINS Robin BEL Lotto Dstny Dev. 00:00
4 LE HUITOUZE Eddy FRA Groupama-FDJ Conti 00:15
5 VAN MECHELEN Vlad BEL Dev. Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 00:15
6 ASKEY Ben GBR Groupama-FDJ Conti 00:15
7 ARTZ Huub NED Wanty-ReUz-Technord 00:15
8 DEL GROSSO Tibor NED Alpecin-Deceuninck Dev. Team 00:15
9 VERSTRYNGE Emiel BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck Dev. Team 00:15
10 THORNLEY Callum GBR Trinity Racing 00:15
11 HUISING Menno NED Team Visma | Lease a Bike Dev. 00:15
12 DOCKX Aaron BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck Dev. Team 00:21
13 BELMANS Lennert BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck Dev. Team 01:25
14 L’HOTE Antoine FRA Decathlon AG2R La Mon. Dev. 02:33
15 SIMMONS Colby USA Team Visma | Lease a Bike Dev. 02:33


Key points :
• The distance covered by cobblestones is slightly longer for the 121st edition of Paris-Roubaix, which will take place on Sunday, April 7. The 29 sectors in the final 165 kilometres total 55.7km (compared with 54.5km in 2023), the largest total in 30 years. The riders will get reacquainted with the Briastre (km 111.5) and Buat hamlet (km 129.5) sectors.
• The 4th edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift will be contested the day before, with an increased total distance (148.5 km vs. 145.4 km in 2023) but an unchanged programme as far as the cobblestones are concerned: the women will take on the same 17 sectors as the final 29.2 km of the men’s race.
• Based on the most recent reconnaissance of the course, conducted on April 2 by Thierry Gouvenou, Paris-Roubaix race director, and Franck Perque, Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift race director, the organisers were able to validate the difficulty ratings assigned to each of the race’s cobblestone sectors, assessed based on their length, the irregularity of the cobblestones, the general condition of the section and its location. The five-star rated sectors remain the Trouée d’Arenberg (# 19), Mons-en-Pévèle (# 11) and the Carrefour de l’Arbre (# 4).

The 29 Paris-Roubaix cobbled sectors

29: Troisvilles in Inchy (km 96 – 2,2 km) ***
28: Viesly in Quiévy (km 102,5 – 1,8 km) ***
27: Quiévy in Saint-Python (km 105,1 – 3,7 km) ****
26: Viesly in Briastre (km 111,3 – 3 km) ***
25: Vertain in Saint-Martin-sur-Ecaillon (km 122,6 – 2,3 km) ***
24: Capelle in Ruesnes (km 129,3 – 1,7 km) ***
23: Artres in Quérénaing (km 138,3 – 1,3 km) **
22: Quérénaing in Maing (km 140,1 – 2,5 km) ***
21: Maing in Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 143,2 – 1,6 km) ***
20: Haveluy in Wallers (km 156,2 – 2,5 km) ****
19: Trouée d’Arenberg (km 164,4 – 2,3 km) *****
18: Wallers in Hélesmes (km 170,4 – 1,6 km) ***
17: Hornaing in Wandignies (km 177,2 – 3,7 km) ****
16: Warlaing in Brillon (km 184,7 – 2,4 km) ***
15: Tilloy in Sars-et-Rosières (km 188,2 – 2,4 km) ****
14: Beuvry in Orchies (km 194,5 – 1,4 km) ***
13: Orchies (km 199,5 – 1,7 km) ***
12: Auchy in Bersée (km 205,6 – 2,7 km) ****
11: Mons-en-Pévèle (km 211,1 – 3 km) *****
10: Mérignies in Avelin (km 217,1 – 0,7 km) **
9: Pont-Thibault in Ennevelin (km 220,5 – 1,4 km) ***
8: Templeuve – L’Epinette (km 225,9 – 0,2 km) *
8: Templeuve – Moulin-de-Vertain (km 226,4 – 0,5 km) **
7: Cysoing in Bourghelles (km 232,8 – 1,3 km) ***
6: Bourghelles in Wannehain (km 235,3 – 1,1 km) ***
5: Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 239,8 – 1,8 km) ****
4: Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 242,5 – 2,1 km) *****
3: Gruson (km 244,8 – 1,1 km) **
2: Willems in Hem (km 251,5 – 1,4 km) **
1: Roubaix (km 258,3 – 0,3 km) *

Paris-Roubaix Challenge

Saturday, April 6th 2024 – 24 hours before Paris-Roubaix and a few hours before Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, a peloton of 5500 amateur riders will measure themselves on the Queen of the Classics and its fabled cobblestone sectors. Three distances are on offer to cyclists, to suit every taste: 70, 145 and
170 kms. Every rider will find an appropriate legend.

Information and registration on and

ESCAPE FROM HELL – (IV/V) 2016 : Mathew Hayman

2016 : Mathew Hayman
In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Mathew Hayman : “I won in the year when I had the least chance”
Is the early breakaway to Roubaix an Australian specialty? Riders from Down Under waited until the turn of the 21st century to impose their panache on the Classic born in 1896 but they’ve done it in unique fashion. Henk Vogels was the first to break into the top 10 (in 1997 and 1998). Then, in 2007, Stuart O’Grady triumphed in the North after attacking in the first hour of the race. Ten editions later, in the spring of 2016, Mathew Hayman joined him on the list of winners, overturning all the predictions.
At 37, the native of Camperdown, an inner western suburb of Sydney, is a seasoned expert on the cobbled Classics, but he’s no guaranteed winner. Prior to his Roubaix triumph, his professional honours list includes the Challenge Mallorca (2001), the Sachsen Tour (2005), the road race at the Commonwealth Games (2006) and Paris-Bourges (2011). He headed into his 15th appearance in the Hell of the North – he will push his tally to 17, a record in the French Monument – with a wealth of experience at all levels of the race (8th in 2012, OTL in 2002), but with little certainty about his form: six weeks earlier, he fractured his right arm on his first cobbled race of the season, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
For a month, the Australian stepped on his home-trainer and trained on Zwift. In his garage, he prepared to topple the oracles, dazzled by the stars Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan. For the first time, Paris-Roubaix was broadcast in its entirety on television, from the start in Compiègne to the finish in the André-Pétrieux velodrome. For six hours, the race was breathtaking and, in this extraordinary setting, Hayman delivered a masterclass, making the breakaway before surviving the return of the favourites and frustrating the legend Boonen.

KM 0. PREPARE FOR BATTLE : “Roubaix was on my mind, but I had a lot of doubts“
“When I broke my arm, the doctors put it in a cast and told me it would be six weeks. I looked at my phone and I said: ‘Okay, that’s one day before Roubaix…’ The team doctor was there and he said: ‘That’s not gonna happen’. You think of all the effort you’ve done for the classics, and it gets taken away… I have a track background, from Australia, and I’m used to training indoors, living in Belgium. Zwift wasn’t so big at the time but I decided to give it a shot. I did a lot of double sessions, there were a couple of days I even did three or four sessions.
Roubaix was on my mind, but I had a lot of doubts. I went and raced in Spain the week-end before Roubaix. I had done four or five days on the road before that. And I had one week left. By that point, I was pretty confident but other people in the team were still unsure. In the recon, I had to do a pretty hard ride. I think I did four and half hours on Wednesday and I went pretty deep to make sure… I had missed a lot. But I was pretty happy on that evening. I had good legs, my arm was holding up and I was gonna start in Roubaix on the Sunday.”

KM 80. MAKE THE BREAK : “It was starting to get hard and I was still pretty fresh”
“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be in the breakaway. I was supposed to kind of wait longer. We had three riders that were designated to jump with the early breakaway. But we’d been racing 70-80 kilometres and those roads out of Compiègne are quite rolling. It was starting to get hard and I was still pretty fresh because I had just been waiting, sitting in the bunch. I actually went twice. The first time, on a little rise, I thought maybe this is the break and I jumped in. And the next time, I actually already had a teammate, Magnus Cort Nielsen, and I didn’t see that until I had already jumped. The group became bigger and bigger and we were 21 in the end.
The collaboration was really good. There was some good riders in there, really good riders. And most of the guys, when you’re in that situation, you want to make the most of it. We never got a lot of time, about one and half, two minutes. We kind of had to keep pushing but at the same time, we weren’t racing each other for the sectors, except for Arenberg of course. Even then, being a group of 20, still you want to be in the front. But every other sector, we just went onto the sector and just rode. I think that’s where you save the energy.”

KM 198. CONTAIN BOONEN : “Tom really tried to make it hard”
“I was like: ‘Okay, I’m just here to get ahead, first I want to get through the first sector, then I want to get through Arenberg’, and then a big one for me was to get through Mons-en-Pévèle, but we got caught before. Some guys like Fabian [Cancellara] had missed the split and there were more splits in the group. They had also been racing since Arenberg and the guys that came across, by the time they got to me, they were pretty fatigued. Luke Durbridge was among the 15 riders who came back. He was one of the leaders for our team that day. He was looking very strong.
Tom [Boonen] was doing a lot of work, the group was too big and he wanted to thin it out. Onto Orchies, he really tried to make it hard again, he didn’t have so many teammates and I think he wanted to get rid of as many people as possible, and at the end of Orchies, Luke punctured. If he was in front of me, maybe I would have given my wheel but he was already behind and stopped before I could react. And then I was: ‘Oh well, I’m by myself now.’”

KM 257.5. BRING IT HOME : “Coming into the Velodrome, I probably had the smallest palmares”
“On Mons-en-Pévèle, there was a big acceleration, I was caught behind a rider, maybe it was [Marcel] Sieberg… And I could see Sep [Vanmarcke] or Ian Stannard going really fast. I hesitated, I was thinking: ‘I’ve been in the break, maybe I just stay there…’ But I understood I had to go. Still, I didn’t believe I could win. Then on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, I was knocked off the wheel, I managed to come across and that’s when I started believing. Coming into the Velodrome with Sep Vanmarcke, Ian Stannard, Tom Boonen and Edvald Boasson Hagen, I probably had the smallest palmares. But I wasn’t thinking like that, I was just thinking of racing, having moves, covering attacks, trying to get to the finish line.
Then, as soon as I crossed the line, I came back to reality and tried to understand what had happened. In other years, I was in great shape and something always happened. And I always put pressure on myself to have a good race in Roubaix. I knew that when Tom and Fabian accelerated on the cobbles, they were impossible to follow – for me and for everyone else! So I looked for other ways. It’s just a race I fell in love with. And I won it in the year when I had the least chance of doing well.“

Mathew Hayman :
• Born on 20th April 1978 in Camperdown (Australia)
• Sports director for Team Jayco AlUla
• Holds the record for most participations in Paris-Roubaix – 17 :
Winner in 2016 / 8th in 2012 / 10th in 2011


2011: Johan Vansummeren (III/V)

In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Johan Vansummeren : „At Roubaix, I knew I had a chance“
4 + 3 + 2 = 9. From 2005 to 2013, nine editions of Paris-Roubaix were dominated by three major forces. There was Tom Boonen, Flanders hero, winner of the Hell of the North on four occasions, like Roger De Vlaeminck in the 1970s. Swiss icon Fabian Cancellara also made his way into the Roubaix legend with three triumphs. The other two editions contested during their reign crowned long-distance attackers specialising in the cobbles, who eventually found an opening to upset the pre-established (but rarely respected) scenarios of Paris-Roubaix.
In 2007, Stuart O’Grady achieved his conquest by taking part in the early breakaway before he surged in the final. In 2011, Johan Vansummeren was “at the back of the pack“ when the breakaway set off. The Trouée d’Arenberg was his winning launchpad, almost 100 kilometres away from the André-Pétrieux velodrome. At the same time, Boonen was lamenting a puncture. As for Fabian Cancellara, he remained behind, alongside the other main favourites, led by world champion Thor Hushovd, Vansummeren’s teammate in the ranks of Garmin-Cervélo.
Winner in Roubaix a year earlier (ahead of Hushovd, 2nd), Cancellara eventually unleashed his power. The gap to the front of the race had shrunk to around twenty seconds with 30 kilometres to go. But Vansummeren didn’t wait for anyone en route to the greatest success of his career. The Belgian suffered right to the end, with a puncture just outside of the Vélodrome. Still, he fulfilled the prophecy of his boss Jonathan Vaughters, who was convinced that Vansummeren, even more than Hushovd, held the key to breaking the Boonen-Cancellara lock.

KM 0. TOO EARLY TO MOVE : „I wasn’t going to jostle and lose energy“
„At the start, I was free – I didn’t have to do anything for the team leaders. Thor Hushovd had two riders working for him, [Roger] Hammond and [Andreas] Klier, and I could do my own thing. Up until the first sector in Troisvilles, I stayed at the back of the pack. You have to make a choice: either you try to get into the breakaway, or you try to preserve your legs as much as possible. That’s also a risk. If there’s a lot of wind, you can’t afford to lag behind. But that day, I told myself that I wasn’t going to jostle and lose energy. My idea was not to worry about the race for the first 100 kilometres. It was only in the last ten kilometres before Troisvilles that I started to work my way up to the front of the peloton.”

KM 98. SURVIVING THE FIRST COBBLES : „There are crashes, the peloton splits“
„The first cobbles in Paris-Roubaix are always dangerous. I was talking about it again last week with a friend: ‘We never talk about the first sectors, it’s not five stars… But there’s always tension.’ You have two hundred riders and everyone wants to be in the top ten. There are crashes, the peloton splits… OK, it comes back, but it takes energy. You have to fight beforehand and if you enter the cobbles in fifth or sixth position, you can even allow yourself to drop back a little. It’s all about being in the safety zone and staying well placed to avoid any splits.”

KM 172. ARENBERG, THE LAUNCH PAD : „Lotto pulled and pulled and pulled“
„At Arenberg, there isn’t really a safe zone any more. Even in second place, if the guy in front of you crashes, there’s no room. And if you have a mechanical… I was able to go through without having to push too hard. And as soon as we came out of the cobbles, [Jurgen] Roelandts attacked. I was on his wheel and off we went. We quickly caught up with the breakaway and then Lotto had three riders [Roelandts, André Greipel and David Boucher]. It was magnificent. They didn’t ask for anything, they just pulled and pulled and pulled… And I was around tenth place [he whistles]. They carried me for nearly 70 kilometres, until we battled it out in the finale with [Lars] Bak, [Maarten] Tjallingi… At no point did I think about the gap or the chasing riders. Anyway, the situation changes a lot. And as soon as there are only three or four of us in front, it’s a mano a mano.”

KM 242. THE RIGHT TURN ON THE CARREFOUR : „Tjallingi was five metres away“
„I felt really good. And I know the Carrefour de l’Arbre quite well, the corners, the first left-right… And after about a kilometre, there’s a left-hand bend… And that’s where I went really fast. Tjallingi was five metres from my wheel. He never came back. I had good legs, a clear head and my experience of Paris-Roubaix, the recons… Even today, you leave me in Troisvilles and I’ll take you to Roubaix, with my eyes closed! But there, I wasn’t at ease. In the last sector before Roubaix, my wheel hit a cobblestone. I thought to myself: ‘ouch…‘ And in the last three kilometres, my rim was touching the road. It was a bit of a panic, I was really stressed. On the videos, you can see that I entered the velodrome with a soft tubular. But it worked out.”

KM 256.5. ELATION IN ROUBAIX AND LOMMEL : „I bought a few tons of beer“
„It was total madness. I was so proud, so happy. When I signed my contract with Garmin, I told Vaughters: ‘I know I can’t win many races… But Roubaix, I can do it.’ Then, just because you can doesn’t mean you’re going to win! But at Roubaix, I knew I had a chance. The team organised dinner that evening, then we left around midnight. And when I arrived in my town [Lommel], there must have been 2,000 people in the streets. The police were there, the roads were blocked, there was the mayor, the TV cameras… I bought a few tons of beer, stayed for an hour, an hour and a half, and then went home. I was dead.“

Johan Vansummeren :
Born on 4th February 1981 in Lommel (Belgium)
9 participations in the Tour de France
9 participations in Paris-Roubaix :
• Winner in 2011 / 5th in 2009 / 8th in 2008 / 9th in 2012
• Winner of Tour de Pologne 2007 (stage 7 and general classification)
• Winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège Espoirs in 2003


2007 : Stuart O’Grady (II/V)
In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

O’Grady: “It was like having an out-of-body experience“
Stuart O’Grady knew everything about how to power victory in a velodrome when he lined up at the start of Paris-Roubaix 2007, his “finest road result”. His last victory before he tamed the French Monument actually came in the Athens Olympic Velodrome, during the 2004 Games, where he won the Madison. In his 33rd Spring, the Australian veteran also had a wealth of experience to share in the Classics and he approached with high confidence his 9th participation in the Hell of the North, a week after finishing 10th in the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
These stripes didn’t make O’Grady a favourite to raise the famous winner’s cobble in the Vélodrome of Roubaix. In these years, all eyes turned to Fabian Cancellara – especially O’Grady’s, who was a teammate of the Swiss icon – and Tom Boonen, the two of them claiming seven victories in the nine editions raced between 2005 and 2013. It appeared the only way to escape their dominance was to anticipate, as O’Grady showed and Johan Vansummeren confirmed, in 2011.
On his special day, „Stuey“ the Aussie was greeted by exceptionally high temperatures in the North of France. He made the early breakaway to launch a trailblazing conquest. A puncture and a crash got in his way, the bigger guns got back to him… But O’Grady surged again on the Carrefour de l’Arbre. „Today, I was going to win or die trying“, he said as he became the first rider from Down Under to conquer Roubaix and its iconic Vélodrome.

Km 0. Let them go : “Everybody goes full gas in the first 15 kilometres”
“Fabian [Cancellara] was the protected rider, especially as the defending champion. I was more of a plan B, along with Lars Michaelsen and Matti Breschel. My objective was to get in the breakaway with a couple of teammates, to be ahead of the race, be ready to help Fabian deep in the finale. Getting in the break is probably one of the most difficult things to achieve. Every directeur sportif tells his riders he wants one or two of them in the breakaway. It’s very fast, it’s very hard. You need a lot of experience. Everybody goes full gas in the first 15 kilometres, which isn’t the best way to go about it. It’s more about picking your opportunities from that 16, 17km mark, when the road starts taking a few little small climbs, which makes a good launchpad to create a breakaway.”

Km 19. Feel the move : “Come on, it’s a good opportunity!”
“When the breakaway initially went, it had Luke Roberts and Matti Breschel in it. I thought it was a good group but I also thought I really need to be in it as well. I used my experience to jump across at a favourable moment and we were three riders. It was a real defining moment. It was very important for us to have multiple riders in the breakaway. Obviously, we didn’t realise it would be 30 riders, which kind of worked in our favour. I remember yelling at the riders: ‘Come on, it’s a good opportunity, the further we get ahead the better’. And I managed to get the breakaway very.

Km 163. Survive Arenberg : “I thought my race was finished”
“We were hoping to get to Arenberg and in the end, the breakaway went much further… But it didn’t work out like that for me. I was always entering the sectors first or second wheel, to chose my line, try to avoid stupid crashes or incidents. I was feeling really good. Everything was coming to plan. But I punctured in Arenberg. I was devastated, I thought my race was finished. But that’s where my experience from the previous Paris-Roubaix helped me. The younger Stuart would have tried to time trial back to that group and probably explode a few sections later. The more experienced Stuart went: ‘You know what, let’s just get to the end of the section, let’s get a musette…’ It was a very hot and dusty day, which made it really difficult to eat and drink. That puncture was probably a blessing in disguise.”

Km 215. Get Cancellara’s approval : “If you can, just go”
“Once I got caught, I spoke with Fabian. We shared room the night before and we were very close friends. I was told to attack on the next section… And I crashed on a corner, which was unusual. I was usually pretty good on the cobbles but I think with the pressure, having to attack for Fabian, I had a little lapse in concentration and I crashed. I was really mad at myself. I thought I had let Fabian down. With that anger, I rode back to the peloton. And that’s when Fabian said: ‘‘I’m not on a good day. You obviously are. If you can, just go.’”

Km 234. Go go go : “What have I done?”
“I followed Steffen Wesemann and Roger Hammond, who had just attacked. They rode me to the front of the race. At that moment, something inside my head just said: ‘Go’. I didn’t know how many kilometres were left to go, I didn’t know anything… I just saw the moment that everyone was really tired and they all kind of sat up. And at that moment, my head just said ‘attack, just go’. I saw an opportunity and then I saw the sign that said 25 kilometres to go… Holy shit, what have I done? But I felt really good on the Carrefour. My goal was to get a one-minute advantage. Then, the riders behind would start looking at each other and racing for the places of second and third.”

Km 259.5. Feel the legend : “Is this really happening?”
“It was like having an out-of-body experience. You’re racing, you’re off the front in Paris-Roubaix, and you’re kind of asking: ‘Is this really happening?’ Your legs are on the verge of cramping. Your arms are absolutely wrecked. Your neck, everything is hurting. But I guess that desire, that will to win, is just screaming at you: ‘Just keep going there, this is your day!’ It doesn’t happen very often in your career, at least it didn’t happen very often in my career! So I pushed as hard as I could push and it worked. The winner’s cobble is the only trophy I have on display at my home, in Australia. It’s in the entrance and I still touch it most days. It brings back a lot of incredible memories.”

Stuart O’Grady :
• Born on 6 August 1973 in Adelaide (Australia)
• Director of the Santos Tour Down Under

17 participations in the Tour de France :
• 2 stage wins (1998, 2004) / 9 Yellow jerseys (1998, 2001)
14 participations in Paris-Roubaix :
• Winner in 2007 / 5th in 2008
• Track Olympic Champion in 2004
• 3rd of Milano-Sanremo 2004
• 3rd of the Ronde van Vlaanderen 2003
• 3rd of Paris-Tours 2003 and 2006

Escape from Hell – 1988 : Dirk Demol (I/V)

1988 : Dirk Demol (I/V)

In the end, it’s not always the strongest who wins. Certainly not in cycling, and most definitely not in Paris-Roubaix. On the roads of the Hell of the North, the „strongest“ can just as easily win in the legendary velodrome as get bogged down in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Year after year, the cobblestone crushers crash in the Mons-en-Pévèle sector or collapse in the Carrefour de l’Arbre – and one cannot underestimate the traps of the asphalt either. On these unique roads, an aspirant for glory needs to be strong, but also brave and lucky. Paris-Roubaix smiles on the bold, even those who have been out there the longest. In a race where chaos is always the order of the day, early attackers create unsuspected openings. Conquerors of the Hell of the North, they tell us about their heavenly day on the cobbles.

Dirk Demol : “When De Vlaeminck told me we were gonna stay away…”

Numbers hardly break down the brutality and magnificence of Paris-Roubaix. 120 editions held since the first one, in 1896. Some 250 kilometres of racing, with over 50 kilometres of cobblestones in the modern version of the „Hell of the North“, featuring sectors classified from one to five stars, based on the challenge they represent. Countless feats and even more dreams shattered. And extraordinary breakaways, since the French Monument ignites a special fire within the most daring attackers. How long was the longest successful breakaway in the history of Paris-Roubaix? „We did 222 kilometres at the front“, the winner of the 1988 edition Dirk Demol recalls. That year, his team AD Renting had come with a hot favourite: Eddy Planckaert. They had stellar rivals: Sean Kelly, Laurent Fignon, Marc Madiot, Eric Vanderaerden… But it was the „manneke“ („little guy“) Demol – hailing from Kuurne, some 25km away from Roubaix – who surged to an unexpected triumph, getting the better of his breakaway companions while resisting the bigger guns. „Numbers are unforgiving“, Jean-Marie Leblanc wrote on his way to Kuurne, as he pondered for L’Équipe the mathematical impossibility for Fignon to bridge a gap of 2’52“ in the very last kilometres. The Frenchman eventually crossed the line in 3rd position, 1’55“ after Demol. Fignon never got the numbers right in Roubaix while Leblanc went on to steer the French Monument, as well as the Tour de France. As for Demol, he now shares his unique insights as a sports director for Lotto Dstny after he worked with icons such as Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara.

KM 0. Go to the front : “I was covering the early breaks for Planckaert”

“Roubaix has always been my favourite race. I remember doing it with the Belgian national team as an Under 23 in 1980. Back then, you had to wait for a letter in the mail and I was so happy when I read I was gonna do Roubaix! I finished 2nd in a sprint against Stephen Roche, with a similar scenario to my victory in 1988. It was a long breakaway, gone before the first cobblestones, and we had the same number of riders at the front – 13 – until it gradually came down to only two. Then, I got to do it as a professional. In 1988, I was covering the early breaks with another Belgian teammate, Luc Colyn, for our leader Eddy Planckaert, who had won the Tour of Flanders a week earlier. We wanted to have somebody up there so we could avoid chasing in the bunch. There were many attempts and I was somehow lucky because I was eventually part of it when the breakaway went after some 40 kilometres of racing.”

Km44. Make the most of the break : “I was lucky to be with Thomas Turbo”

“We had quite a big group and I was already thinking my director would be happy with the job I had done. Of course, you pull. But you stay on the reserve, because you have to be able to help your leader if he comes later. I wasn’t strong enough to be a leader, not physically, not mentally. When I was on a good day, I made the top 10 of several semi-classics. But I never raced the finale of a big Classic, except for that year in Roubaix. I was lucky to be up there with Thomas Wegmuller. We used to call him Thomas Turbo, or Terminator, because he was always going full gas. A couple of years later, he attacked with Jacky Durand in the Tour of Flanders and they stayed away as well. But I was also the only one able to go with him. Gerard Veldschoten was in the breakaway, Allan Peiper… When these guys were dropped, I figured we were going really fast.”

KM 220. Listen to Mr Paris-Roubaix : “I can do it!”

“My first leader when I turned professional, in 1982, was Roger De Vlaeminck, Monsieur Paris-Roubaix. If he liked a young rider, he would teach you. In Roubaix, positioning is essential. I also learned from Roger how to go smooth over the cobbles. In 1988, with about 45 km to go, press cars moved past them. One of them slowed down as they passed us… Roger was their guest. He rolled down his window and told me: ‘‘Dirk, you know, you’re gonna stay away! It’s still three minutes. It’s the chance of your life to win.’ From that moment, I went all in. In races, I was often doubting. But that day… For some reason, I was thinking: ‘Ok, Roger said we can stay away, I feel good… I can do it!’ On every level, physically, mentally, it was the kind of day a rider likes me maybe gets once in their career. I also knew Thomas couldn’t sprint at all while I could defend myself, especially in small groups. And the wind had blown a plastic bag in his derailleur. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and everything came together.”

KM 266. Step into the legend : „It’s true, I won Roubaix!”

“When you cross the line, you don’t really realise. Especially someone like me, a gregario, a domestique… It was already my 7th year as a pro. I went to the podium, then I had to speak to the media, do the doping control… My best supporter was there, picking me up to bring me home. We had a small fan club in a café. And it was incredible how excited everyone was. At some point in the night – I stayed celebrating with them until 3 or 4 AM, even Jean-Marie Leblanc was there as a journalist for L’Équipe – they brought me the newspapers from Monday. I was on the front page and then I said: ‘Yes, it’s true, I won Roubaix!’ I went to bed, I was so tired but I couldn’t sleep: ‚is it true? did I dream?‘ It was a dream indeed.”

Paris-Roubaix et Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift : team selection

The organisers of Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift have selected the teams for the 4th edition, Saturday, April 6th.

In accordance with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) regulations, the fifteen UCI Women’s WorldTeams automatically entered are:

AG Insurance – Soudal Team (Bel)
Canyon / / SRAM Racing (Ger)
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
FDJ – Suez (Fra)
Fenix – Deceuninck (Bel)
Human Powered Health (Usa)
Lidl-Trek (Usa)
Liv-AlUla-Jayco (Aus)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Roland (Sui)
Team dsm-firmenich PostNL (Ned)
Team SD Worx-Pro Time (Ned)
Team Visma | Lease a Bike (Ned)
UAE Team ADQ (Uae)
Uno-X Mobility (Nor)

Furthermore, the best 2023 UCI Women’s Continental teams will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift :

Cofidis (Fra)

The organisers have invited the following teams:

Arkéa-B&B Hôtels Women (Fra)
EF Education-Cannondale (Usa)
LifePlus Wahoo (Gbr)
St Michel – Mavic – Auber 93 (Fra)
Team Coop-Repsol (Nor)
Team Komugi-Grand Est (Fra)
Volkerwessel Women’s Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
Winspace (Fra)


The organisers of Paris-Roubaix have selected the teams for the 121th edition, Sunday, April 7th.

In accordance with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rules, the eighteen UCI WorldTeams are invited:

Alpecin-Deceuninck (Bel)
Arkéa-B&B Hôtels (Fra)
Astana Qazaqstan Team (Kaz)
Bahrain Victorious (Brn)
Bora-Hansgrohe (All)
Cofidis (Fra)
Décathlon Ag2r La Mondiale Team (Fra)
EF Education-Easypost (Usa)
Groupama-FDJ (Fra)
Ineos Grenadiers (Gbr)
Intermarché-Wanty (Bel)
Lidl-Trek (Usa)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Soudal Quick-Step (Bel)
Team dsm-firmenich PostNL (Ned)
Team Jayco AlUla (Aus)
Team Visma | Lease a Bike (Ned)
UAE Team Emirates (Uae)

Furthermore, the three highest ranked UCI ProTeams in 2023 will participate by right in Paris-Roubaix:

Lotto Dstny (Bel)
Israel Premier Tech (Isr)
Uno-X Mobility (Nor)

The organisers have invited the following teams:

Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB (Bel)
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team (Sui)
Team Flanders-Baloise (Bel)
TotalEnergies (Fra)

Paris-Roubaix – 257 Km

1 VAN DER POEL Mathieu NED Alpecin-Deceuninck 05:28:41 46,8km/h!!
2 PHILIPSEN Jasper BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck 00:46
3 VAN AERT Wout BEL Jumbo-Visma 00:46
4 PEDERSEN Mads DEN Trek-Segafredo 00:50
5 KÜNG Stefan SUI Groupama-FDJ 00:50
6 GANNA Filippo ITA INEOS Grenadiers 00:50
7 DEGENKOLB John GER Team DSM 02:35
8 WALSCHEID Max GER Cofidis 03:31

9 REX Laurenz BEL Intermarché-Circus-Wanty 03:35
10 LAPORTE Christophe FRA Jumbo-Visma 04:11
11 VERMEERSCH Gianni BEL Alpecin-Deceuninck 04:11
12 VERMEERSCH Florian BEL Lotto Dstny 04:11
13 BAX Sjoerd NED UAE Team Emirates 04:11
14 VAN HOOYDONCK Nathan BEL Jumbo-Visma 04:11
15 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR Uno-X Pro Cycling Team 05:36
16 VANMARCKE Sep BEL Israel-Premier Tech 05:36
17 TEUNISSEN Mike NED Intermarché-Circus-Wanty 05:36
18 VAN GESTEL Dries BEL TotalEnergies 05:36
19 TRENTIN Matteo ITA UAE Team Emirates 05:36
20 STUYVEN Jasper BEL Trek-Segafredo 05:36

Fluchtversuch von Jonas Koch bleibt unbelohnt bei Paris – Roubaix

Traditionell bildete Paris-Roubaix heute den Abschluss der Kopfsteinpflaster-Klassiker am Osterwochenende. Wie bei den letzten Rennen dauerte es abermals lange, bevor sich eine Spitzengruppe vom Feld absetzen konnte. BORA – hansgrohe war von Beginn an aktiv und bei jeder ernsten Attacke vertreten. So gelang es in Folge auch Jonas Koch in die 4-Mann-Gruppe des Tages zu kommen. Während in der Gruppe dahinter Politt, Haller und Meeus Probleme durch mehrere Massenstürze bzw. technische Probleme hatten, konnte sich Jonas bis rund 90 km vor dem Ziel an der Spitze des Rennens behaupten. Nach dem Wald von Arenberg schloss eine erste Favoritengruppe zu Jonas auf und leider konnte dieser etwa 20 km später das Tempo vorne nicht mehr halten. Dahinter kämpfte Nils Politt in der ersten größeren Gruppe, die 60 km vor dem Ziel Jonas einholte. Im Finale spielte heute keiner der BORA – hansgrohe Fahrer eine Rolle und am Ende erreichte Nils als Bester des Teams das Ziel auf Rang 35.

Von der Ziellinie
“Zu Beginn sind wir ein starkes Rennen gefahren und waren bei allen Attacken dabei. Ich war dann auch in der Gruppe und bis Arenberg lief alles ganz gut. Auch dort bin ich gut durchgekommen und dachte, mit den Favoriten läuft die Gruppe gut. Aber ich habe dann in einem Sektor ein Hinterrad berührt und kam fast zu Sturz. Dort hab ich den ganzen Schwung verloren und es ist extrem schwierig, wieder zu beschleunigen. Dort habe ich auch gemerkt, dass mein Tank leer war und mein Rennen war dort eigentlich zu Ende.” – Jonas Koch

“Ich hatte heute einfach nicht die besten Beine und konnte ein gutes Tempo fahren, aber bei den Attacken hat mir die letzte Kraft gefehlt. Zu Beginn war ich einmal in einen Sturz verwickelt, das war aber kein Problem. Ich musste dann einmal das Rad wechseln und da war das Rennen schon voll im Gange, das hat ein paar Körner gekostet. Im Wald von Arenberg kam dann ein Fahrer vor mir zu Sturz und ich habe den Anschluss an Ganna verloren. Da war das Rennen eigentlich für mich zu Ende. Es war sicher nicht mein bester Tag.” – Nils Politt

Mathieu Van der Poel sets his legend in stones with Paris-Roubaix win

Alpecin-Deceunick rode an excellent 2023 Paris-Roubaix to set up its leader Mathieu Van der Poel for a magnificent victory and his deluxe domestique Jasper Philipsen for a second place that rounded off the day for the Belgian team. The Carrefour de l’Arbre was decisive yet again in the Hell of the North, with a crash for John Degenkolb (Team DSM) and a flat tire for Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) putting Van der Poel in an ideal position for a deserved solo victory in the Vélodrome André Petrieux after being the most aggressive rider of the race by far. This is the Dutchman’s second Monument win of the season, following Milano-Sanremo, and his third-ever next to his two victories in the Tour of Flanders – a landmark triumph on what can already be defined as a legendary career. As for Van Aert, he took his second straight podium in Paris-Roubaix after crossing the finish line in third position.

175 riders took the start in the 120th edition of Paris-Roubaix at 11:26, off to ride 256,6 kilometres between Compiègne and the Vélodrome André Pétrieux in Roubaix with 29 cobbled sectors to be covered. The first hour of racing was as fast as its 51,5 kph average speed might indicate. It wasn’t until 82 kilometres into the race that Jonas Koch (Bora-Hansgrohe), Derek Gee (Israel-PremierTech), Sjoerd Bax (UAE Team Emirates) and Juri Hollman (Movistar Team) managed to create the day’s breakaway. Nils Eekhoff (Team DSM) nearly joined them with a counter-attack that fell short. Coming into the race’s first cobbled sector, Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96.3 — 2.2 km), the gap between the front group and the bunch was 1’25”.

Sad farewell for Peter Sagan
The pack came quite compact into the cobbles, and that provoked several crashes. Half a dozen cyclists who were riding in the first positions of the bunch hit the ground midway through the Viesly to Quiévy (km 102.8 — 1.8 km) cobbled sector. Amongst them were Soudal-Quick Step’s Davide Ballerini and TotalEnergies’ Peter Sagan and Daniel Oss. The Slovakian myth, who was racing his last-ever Paris-Roubaix before retiring next winter, was forced to pull out from the race. Meanwhile, the break kept a decent margin on the bunch – up to 1’50” as they entered Maing to Monchaux-sur-Écaillon (km 133 — 1.6 km).

Jumbo-Visma rocks the tree, Alpecin-Deceuninck picks up the apples
Going into the Haveluy to Wallers (km 153.1 — 2.5 km) cobbled sector, Jumbo-Visma took the reins of the bunch, with Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte taking turns to put some daylight between them and the rest of the field. John Degenkolb (Team DSM), Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) managed to get on their wheel as they caught breakaway riders Koch, Bax and Hollman, with Gee out of contention due to a mechanical. After the Trouée d’Arenberg (km 161.3 — 2.3 km), the front group was joined by Jasper Philipsen, Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Max Walscheid (Cofidis) and Laurenz Rex (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and lost Laporte due to a mechanical, creating a 13-strong unit with strength in numbers for Alpecin-Deceuninck.

Everything up for grabs in the Carrefour de l’Arbre
A race of attrition took place in the final 80 kilometres. Several attacks by Van der Poel created a selection of seven riders at the front after Mons-en-Pévèle (km 208 — 3 km), comprising Van Aert, Küng, Ganna, Pedersen, Degenkolb, Van der Poel himself and his teammate Philipsen. The group made it together to the Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 239.5 — 2.1 km) cobbled sector, where 8 out of the last 20 editions of Paris-Roubaix were settled. As it turned out to be the case, yet again, in 2023…

One crash, some confusion, a puncture… and Van der Poel takes off
With 16,5 kilometers to go, already in the Carrefour de l’Arbre, an unfortunate turn of events saw Degenkolb hit the ground after tapping into Van der Poel as he swerved out of Philipsen’s wheel. It was in the confusion caused by the crash that Van Aert tried to power away, only to find Van der Poel immediately catch his wheel and overtake him. As the Dutchman began to further accelerate, Van Aert suffered a puncture that put him out of contention. After the Gruson (km 242.3 — 1.1 km) cobbled sector, Van der Poel had a 20” gap on the reformed chase group that virtually sealed his win in the Vélodrome André Petrieux. Behind, Van Aert and Philipsen managed to drop the rest of the chasers to secure a podium place.


Key points:

 On 9 April, the peloton of the 120th edition will battle it out on a 256.6 km course with 54.5 km of cobbles spread out over 29 sectors, the first of which comes 160 km from the line. Each sector is rated on a scale from one to five stars.
 Meanwhile, the third edition of Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, which will be held one day earlier on Saturday, 8 April, features 29.2 km of cobblestones. The last 84 km of the men’s and women’s races are identical.

Following Paris–Roubaix race director Thierry Gouvenou and Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift race director Franck Perque’s most recent reconnaissance of the course on 4 April, the organisers have rated the difficulty of the cobbled sectors in the race based on their length, the unevenness of the cobbles, the overall condition of the sectors and their location. The Trouée d’Arenberg (no. 19), Mons-en-Pévèle (no. 11) and the Carrefour de l’Arbre (no. 4) remain the only sectors with a five-star rating.

The cobble-gobblers scouting the roads from now until Sunday will spend the week acclimatising to this exceptional terrain and putting their gear through its paces. Meanwhile, the organisers have turned the invitation for the media to join in the recces into a tradition that starts with a fluffy omelette for breakfast at Chez Françoise in Troisvilles, an institution of Paris–Roubaix. Yet, with the first cobbled sector just around the corner, grub will be the last thing on the minds of the riders when they zip past this famous café on Sunday. The return of the three-star Haspres sector (km 139.6) for the first time since the 2004 Paris–Roubaix will add an element of surprise. The Trouée d’Arenberg, the most dreaded and often decisive moment of the race since its introduction in 1968, has received a makeover from an un-baa-lievable team of gardeners in anticipation of the peloton blasting into the sector at nearly 70 km/h. A 40-strong herd of goats was called into action to nibble away at the weeds coating this forest lane, which turns into the biggest arena on planet cycling once a year. It was the ideal solution to reduce the risk of slipping without applying toxic products to this protected area. The champions who emerge unscathed from the Trouée d’Arenberg and inch a bit closer to the coveted trophy will owe the Goat Gang a big „thank you“! It is 93 kilometres from there until the finish line.

In contrast with their male counterparts, the riders of Paris–Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift will not reap the rewards of the goats‘ work, while the first part of the course has been stretched, bringing the total distance close to 150 km. The cobblestones remain unchanged, with 29.2 km spread out over 17 sectors. The women’s course will converge on the men’s one with 84 km to go, starting with the 3.7 km long four-star sector from Hornaing to Wandignies, the very same one that Brit Lizzie Deignan used as a springboard for her victorious solo adventure last year. It will be much harder to catch the favourites unawares this time round.

The 29 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix

Cobblestones sectors 17 to 1 are common to both races

29: Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96.3 — 2.2 km) ***
28: Viesly to Quiévy (km 102.8 — 1.8 km) ***
27: Quiévy to Saint-Python (km 105.4 — 3.7 km) ****
26: Saint-Python (km 110.1 — 1.5 km) **
25: Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (km 117.2 — 2.3 km) ***
24: Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing (km 127.2 — 1.6 km) ***
23: Quérénaing to Maing (km 129.9 — 2.5 km) ***
22: Maing to Monchaux-sur-Écaillon (km 133 — 1.6 km) ***
21: Haspres to Thiant (km 139.6 — 1.7 km) ***
20: Haveluy to Wallers (km 153.1 — 2.5 km) ****
19: Trouée d’Arenberg (km 161.3 — 2.3 km) *****
18: Wallers to Hélesmes (km 167.4 — 1.6 km) ***
17: Hornaing to Wandignies (km 174.1 — 3.7 km) ****
16: Warlaing to Brillon (km 181.6 — 2.4 km) ***
15: Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 185.1 — 2.4 km) ****
14: Beuvry to Orchies (km 191.4 — 1.4 km) ***
13: Orchies (km 196.5 — 1.7 km) ***
12: Auchy to Bersée (km 202.6 — 2.7 km) ****
11: Mons-en-Pévèle (km 208 — 3 km) *****
10: Mérignies to Avelin (km 214 — 0.7 km) **
9: Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 217.4 — 1.4 km) ***
8: Templeuve — L’Épinette (km 222.8 — 0.2 km) *
8: Templeuve — Moulin-de-Vertain (km 223.3 — 0.5 km) **
7: Cysoing to Bourghelles (km 229.8 — 1.3 km) ***
6: Bourghelles to Wannehain (km 232.3 — 1.1 km) ***
5: Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 236.7 — 1.8 km) ****
4: Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 239.5 — 2.1 km) *****
3: Gruson (km 242.3 — 1.1 km) **
2: Willems to Hem (km 248.4 — 1.4 km) ***
1: Roubaix (km 255.2 — 0.3 km) *

Paris-Roubaix Challenge

Saturday, April 8th 2022 – 24 hours before Paris-Roubaix and a few hours before Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, a peloton of amateur riders will measure themselves on this legendary spring classic and its fabled cobblestone sectors. Three distances are on offer to cyclists, in order to accommodate all the preparation levels: 70, 145 and 170 kms. Every rider will find an appropriate legend.

The legends of sport are forged in the fire of long-running rivalries between two champions. Paris–Roubaix, a prime target for the cobble-gobblers, often sets the stage for no-holds-barred contests between acrobats on wheels. A mechanical at the wrong time, poor positioning or a moment of hesitation when the decisive move comes can seal the outcome of the race. The site looks back on the history of these epic duels ahead of the latest showdown between the best of enemies, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, in their hunt for a maiden win in the Queen of Classics.

The first three episodes can be found on the Paris-Roubaix website