The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris-Roubaix

Matthew Hayman

Mathew Hayman wins the sprint in the Roubaix velodrome, relegating Tom Boonen and Ian Stannard to the lower steps of the podium and Sep Vanmarcke and Edvald Boasson Hagen trailing further behind. In a wild race, shown on TV from start to finish, this was the greatest surprise of the day, to imagine any scenario in which Hayman beat all of these riders in sprint would sound fanciful but this was the moment the race was won.

Read more

Paris-Roubaix Preview

Gregory Rast, Paris Roubaix 2015

The best for last. The cobbled classics come to an end this Sunday in the Roubaix velodrome. Former race director Jacques Goddet described this race as “the last act of madness”, the decision to take tiny farm tracks with their rudimentary cobbles and use them in a major race. What will Sunday bring: a double for Sagan, a conclusion for Cancellara, a breakthrough for Vanmarke or another story? You’ll be able to see it all yourself as the race is going to be broadcast live from start to finish, a first.

Read more

Rain for Roubaix

The weather forecast says there’s a chance of rain for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. It hasn’t rained during the race since 2002, a bizarre dry run given we associate the spring classics with grim weather. In these safety-concious times is it ok to dream of a wet edition?

Read more

Pour Encourager Les Autres

Paris Roubaix Level Crossing Train

In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others

That’s a line from Voltaire‚Äôs Candide. After the battle of Minorca between France and Britain in 1756, Voltaire describes the British practice of shooting naval officers if they fail, not so much to punish them for mistakes but to send a signal to the others not to let down His Majesty. “Pour encourager les autres”.

What’s this got to do with bike racing? Well the incident in last Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix where some ignored closed barriers at a level crossing requires exemplary action from the UCI. In the interests of safety the UCI has to view video and photographic evidence and disqualify those who ignored the closed barriers.

Read more

The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris-Roubaix

John Degenkolb wins the sprint in the Roubaix velodrome. As captions go “Degenkolb wins sprint” is predictable, he won Milan-Sanremo three weeks ago in this manner. But this time it was the art and the manner of Degenkolb’s win that was so different and impressive. He rode across to the breakaway of Yves Lampaert and Greg Van Avermaet, helped tow them to Roubaix and then saw off others who’d joined this group to win by a several bike lengths.

Read more

Paris-Roubaix Preview

Paris Roubaix

Who can take on Alexander Kristoff? The Norwegian has been invincible and his biggest opponent could be misfortune, his chances were ruined last year by punctures and mechanicals. This is a race of last chances, the final cobbled classic of the season and just like last year time’s running out for Etixx-Quickstep to get that big win, the same for Sep Vanmarcke. Meanwhile Bradley Wiggins longs to end his road career in the Roubaix velodrome.

Amid the cobbled chaos there are many more names to contend with and it’s all live on TV for four hours.

Read more

The Exceptional Paris-Roubaix

This Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix has to be the unique race on the calendar. Its cobbles are enough to make the Oude Kwaremont look new. The velodrome finish is unusual but the exceptions don’t end there, this is a race where reaching the showers has become part of the ritual. Even the name stands out, Roubaix is celebrated as a strong brand by the cycle-trade when in the reality it’s France’s poorest town and rarely something to celebrate.

Read more

The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris-Roubaix

Tepstra Paris RoubaixAn 11 man group with three riders from Omega Pharma-Quick Step forms with 9km to go. Niki Terpstra attacks with 6.5km to go, nobody follows and he quickly builds a lead. This was the moment the race was won.

Read more

Paris-Roubaix Preview

Fabian Cancellara podiumThe last act of madness and also the last cobbled classic of the year. Paris-Roubaix is a wild race with a touch of the circus and it’s not just because the riders circle Roubaix’s concrete ring for the finish. It’s the greatest one day spectacle of the year. Fabian Cancellara may seem irresistible but he’s going to meet some immovable objects as well as plenty of tough riders and teams desperate for a last chance win.

Read more

The Last Act of Madness

There’s no other race like Paris-Roubaix. The severe cobbles, the velodrome finish, the bleak landscape and the soil. It seems old-fashioned but here is an event that’s made for TV and it thrives because of its exceptional character.

Read more