Photo Special: ROUBAIX ’17
Paris-Roubaix Photo Special: The one race that throws up more iconic images than all the others has to be Paris-Roubaix. Wet or dry the ‘Hell of the North’ always makes a good picture and Cor Vos had his full crew on the cobbles last Sunday for the best views of the Queen of the Classics.
The 2017 Paris-Roubaix was very special for Tom Boonen. There is always a scrum around ‘Tommeke’ but as it was his last race there was extra madness, not just the Belgian cycling press, but the full international media.
The man from Bom looked calm before the storm, he was strong and didn’t have any bad luck, but things just didn’t go the Belgian hero’s way. Was it John Degenkolb’s fault? Probably not, he marked Boonen and didn’t help the chase.
The fans lined the streets of Compiègne to see the riders off towards hell.
Warm weather and a tail wind made for a fast start. Yet again Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) made it into the early break, just like in Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders. The man from Liverpool was joined by Pierre-Luc Perrichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Paddy Bevin (Cannondale-Drapac), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) and Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar).
The race it the first cobbles and the dust was everywhere. With an early average speed of 50 kph it wasn’t just the dust that was flying.
It wasn’t just the dust that was flying – In this crash Alex Edmondson (Orica-Scott) came down with a TopSport Vlaanderen rider.
Stijn Vandenbergh kept AG2R-La Mondiale jersey at the front of the race for a long time.
Lotto Soudal’s Jelle Wallays was well to the fore, he made it into two escape groups.
Katusha-Alpecin hit the Bois de Wallers for Alexander Kristoff, but he had an up and down day. Mostly down.
A bad crash took Niki Terpstra out of the race, help that Boonen or Stybar could have needed.
Owain Doull worked hard for the Sky team helping to put Gianni Moscon in the front chase group. Boonen knows a good wheel when he sees one.
Jos Van Emden had been a favorite for the Dutch fans before he crashed.
Matteo Trentin kept the pace high for Quick-Step, but Sagan wasn’t far away.
A bike change for Van Avermaet gave the Olympic champion a hard chase.
Two punctures for the World champion put paid to his hopes.
Boonen missed the important split and John Degenkolb was on his wheel and no one would help the chase.
That man again: Jelle Wallays stayed out front a bit longer with Sylvain Chavanel.
Greg Van Avermaet made it back to the bunch and then was part of the winning split.
The front group eventually had to split and three men made the move. Van Avermaet and Sebastian Langeveld (Cannondale-Drapac) worked hard to stay away from the chasers and distance Boonen and Degelkolb. Zdenek Stybar could take a back seat covering for his Quick-Step team leader.
When the three leaders hit the Roubaix velodrome the speed dropped as they tried to out-fox each other. They lost 30 seconds in the last K and as they started their sprint, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Gianni Moscon (Sky) made contact, but had nothing left for the kick.
On paper Stybar should have had the upper hand, but Van Avermaet had the confidence and the win.
Would Van Avermaet prefer the Flanders win over Roubaix? Both monuments and this is his first.
Tom Boonen came in 12 seconds later with the chasers in 13th place. There must have been disappointment, but what a career.
7th placed Andre Greipel rode a good race as did the Lotto Soudal team. Here the big German congratulates Jurgen Roelandts in the velodrome.
Everyone was happy in the BMC camp. A big hug for Manuel Quinziato from press officer Phoebe Haymes. A job well done.
No Tommeke on the podium, but a Belgian on the top step.
A very happy Greg Van Avermaet, there would have been a shortage of beer in Lokeren on Sunday night.
2017 Paris-Roubaix, thanks to France TV Sport:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC in 5:41:07
2. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
3. Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
4. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
5. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky
6. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ at 0:12
7. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
8. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
9. Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
10. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
11. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott
12. Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis
13. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
14. Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
15. Laurens De Vreese Laurens (Bel) Astana
16. Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
17. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
18. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
19. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
20. Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
21. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC
22. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:20
23. Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:26
24. Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal at 0:36
25. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Sunweb at 2:24.