with videoMathieu van der Poel has impressively added Paris-Roubaix to his palmares. The 28-year-old Dutchman raced solo over the final difficult cobbled section and had plenty of time to cheer on the iconic velodrome. It is Van der Poel’s fourth victory in a cycling monument, after the Tour of Flanders (2020 and 2022) and the Milan-San Remo earlier in the year.
Jasper Philipsen completed the Alpecin-Deceuninck party in the fastest edition in history hell of the north. The Belgian raced, 46 seconds after the finish of his teammate Van der Poel, at the expense of his compatriot Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to second place.
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At Carrefour de l’Arbre, the last cobblestone section rated five stars (the toughest category), former winner John Degenkolb crashed. The German had made contact with Van der Poel, who should have swerved slightly towards Philipsen.
Due to that incident, Van Aert was only in the lead for a while, but Van der Poel quickly made up the gap. Not long after, the Dutchman sped up. Van Aert appeared to follow, but then had to deal with a flat tire. In the final kilometres, Van der Poel held out against an elite group.
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It was the fastest edit in history hell of the north: 46,841 kilometers per hour. The old record was held by Dylan van Baarle (45.792 km/h). The defending champion, with a contract with Jumbo-Visma since this year, had to leave in the 120th edition after a fall on the cobblestones of Bos van Wallers-Arenberg.
Last week Van der Poel finished second behind Tadej Pogacar in the Tour of Flanders. The two-time Tour de France champion from Slovenia was not among the cobblestones of northern France. Van der Poel is the fourth cyclist to win both Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in one year. Cyrille Van Hauwaert (1908), Sean Kelly (1986) and Degenkolb (2015) have done it before.
Bax in early flight
After the first few cobblestone sections, a group had finally formed that rode ahead. Among the quartet was the Dutchman Sjoerd Bax. Van Aert started before the infamous Bos van Wallers. Degenkolb, Christophe Laporte and Van der Poel, among others, took the lead.
The six quickly joined the three remaining leaders, Laporte crashing out at the front with a puncture. Van der Poel had two teammates with Belgians Philipsen and Gianni Vermeersch in a group that also included strong Italian Filippo Ganna, Dane Mads Pedersen and Swiss Stefan Küng.
Van der Poel accelerated at least four times in the elite group in front. On the cobblestones of Camphin-en-Pévèle (four stars), more than twenty kilometers from the finish line, Van der Poel and Van Aert watched each other at the rear of the group.
In the five-star strip of Carrefour de l’Arbre, often the decisive strip, Philipsen set the pace. Degenkolb went down after light contact with Van der Poel, after which Van Aert attacked. The decision came shortly after with Van Aert’s backhand. The Dutchman continued alone and after a solo fifteen kilometers he only reached the Roubaix track.
Do you want to relive the race? Read our live blog below:
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