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Monday, April 18, 2022

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Paris-Roubaix reports

We posted the report from the race organizer with the results.

Here's the report from winner Dylan van Baarle's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Dylan van Baarle put in the performance of his career to win Paris-Roubaix for the INEOS Grenadiers.

The Dutchman made his winning move with 19 kilometres to go, driving clear of his fellow attackers and opening out a gap. That meant he was able to savour the atmosphere inside the famous Roubaix Velodrome - finishing solo by a commanding margin of one minute and 47 seconds.

Dylan van Baarle can sit up and enjoy his win. Sirotti photo

The team rode a superb and committed race, taking on the Queen of the Classics from early on and even helping to split the race in the early crosswinds. A show of team strength helped ensure the Grenadiers constantly had numbers towards the front of the race, even as Roubaix inevitably threw a number of challenges at the team. That early pressure also helped contribute to victory in what proved to be the fasted ever edition of Roubaix.

Ben Turner continued to impress and ultimately finished 11th on his Roubaix debut. The young Brit was part of an elite lead group with Van Baarle in the closing stages, and despite crashing on sector six, he was able to finish 11th.

Long before the cobbles the team were on the front, ensuring a number of pre-race favourites and their teams were put under pressure. Cam Wurf, Luke Rowe and Magnus Sheffield got through a lot of work and the team. Michal Kwiatkowski and Filippo Ganna were able to join a lead group after the famed Arenberg sector, giving their all for the cause.

Dylan van Baarle:
"It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t believe it when I went on to the velodrome. I looked at the other side to see if there were some other guys but I was completely alone. When the DS car came next to me with Servais (Knaven) then I really started believing in it. It’s been crazy.

"It’s a Monument so of course I want to win a Monument. To be second in Flanders and winning Roubaix – I’m lost for words.

"[Splitting the race early] was not planned at all but it turned out like this. We were super focussed from the gun. And that’s what we wanted – we didn’t want to chase. We wanted to be on the front foot and that’s what we did. From that moment I knew that we would have a good chance because we spent less energy than everyone else. We were a bit unlucky – I had a puncture, Pippo had a puncture, I think everyone had something. We just kept calm and this result is amazing.

"We wanted to make the race hard before the second feed zone. That’s what we did. After that Kwiato said I was super strong and he wanted to ride for me. It gave me so much confidence and I can’t thank the team enough for today. It’s been a great spring classic season so far. We’re going to enjoy this.

"We have worked so hard for it. In the last couple of years we had some bad luck but now everything is just going in the right direction. The whole team is lifting off that and it’s been amazing."

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Here’s the Paris-Roubaix report from second-place Wout van Aert’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has celebrated his comeback in the peloton with the second place in Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian champion of Team Jumbo-Visma rode an aggressive and strong race but fell short of Dutchman Dylan van Baarle, who arrived solo at the velodrome in Roubaix.

Wout van Aert just beats Stefan Küng for second place. Sirotti photo

"I am shocked by this second place”, Van Aert said. "I am delighted. This second place even feels like a reward. Of course I wanted to win this race, but after the events of the past few weeks, I can only be happy with this."

The sunny 119th edition was marked by echelons early on. Team Jumbo-Visma was represented by Mike Teunissen, Timo Roosen, Mick van Dijke and Edoardo Affini in the first echelon. Just before the difficult stretch of the Bos van Wallers, the group with Van Aert, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Christophe Laporte joined in. "We didn't have to panic or increase the pace because we were with four strong guys at the front. We stayed calm and chose the perfect position for the start of the final”, Van Aert said.

After Van Hooydonck’s last effort, Van Aert attacked on the cobbled section of Mons-en-Pévèle. A shift followed, but unfortunately, the Belgian champion had a puncture later on. On the following sections, Van Aert was still one of the best riders on the cobblestones, but the later winner had already claimed an advantage in that phase of the race.

"In the final I wanted to go for it, so I accelerated a few times. Van Baarle was one of the strongest and you know he rarely slows down. I don't have to be disappointed because I didn't expect this beforehand. I started in a free role, but I had to wait and see how it would go. I felt pretty good from the start."

Van Aert will start next Sunday in the Ardennes classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "We waited to see how it would go today. If it would go well, I would start in Liège next Sunday. With the second place in Paris-Roubaix, I don't have to worry anymore."

Sports director Grischa Niermann: "Wout was very good. Van Baarle was superior and he turned out to be the strongest. The echelon formation wasn't that bad for us, but we had bad luck, like many teams. Timo deserves a compliment because he handed his bike to Wout in the crucial Bos van Wallers."

With victories in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 prize, Niermann looked back on Team Jumbo-Visma's cobbled classic season with satisfaction. "We rode in the front a lot and got a lot of podium finishes. The Ardennes classics are still to come and we will start there with a lot of confidence."

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Here’s the Paris-Roubaix report from fifth-place Matej Mohorič’s Bahrain Victorious team

Bahrain Victorious played an active role again at this year’s Paris-Roubaix a few months after celebrating Sonny Colbrelli’s success in the Vélodrome André-Pétrieux.

This time it was Matej Mohorič who put in an impressive performance at the Hell of the North. Brave and so willing to take a victory for his teammate forced at home, the Slovenian Champion was one of the most combative of the day. He was part of a 5-man group of attackers that opened a gap jumping from the first group before the Trouée d’Arenberg sector, after a fast and furious first part of the race, where the peloton split because of crosswinds.

Wout van Aert leads a group in the Trouée d’Arenberg. Sirotti photo

It was only a puncture to interrupt his mission and dream of glory, with 37.5km to go, when he was leading with just one other rider. Despite the misfortune, Mohorič was able to stay with the strongest riders of the day, who caught him when he had to stop to change the wheel. On the cobbles of Camphin-en- Pévèle, van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) attacked to take a solo win, ahead of Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) and Küng (Groupama-FDJ). Matej was in the group sprinting for the podium, but he paid for the great efforts throughout the day and in the end, had to settle for 5th place despite his exceptional performance.

Matej Mohorič: “I can’t say I was unlucky today, but I could do without that puncture. Maybe, I could stay at the front much longer because we were getting along together and collaborating with the rider in front alongside me. I wanted the podium for myself and the team, as we did a great race today, but at the sprint in the velodrome, I was without legs and energy left. More than this result was impossible to take today. I had Sonny in my mind all day long. I wanted to take a victory for him. We will try again next year, maybe with him”.

Michal Golas, Bahrain Victorious Sports Director: “Matej rode a great race. He was on the attack almost all the race and deserved the podium. But we should be happy with how he performed. He gave everything he had, and everybody saw and enjoyed his amazing performance. He missed something in the end, but he was with the strongest guys and did everything possible”.

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And here's the Paris-Roubaix report from Yves Lampaert's Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team:

Eight kilometers from the finish in the legendary André-Pétrieux velodrome, Yves Lampaert looked to be on track for his second Paris-Roubaix podium in three years. Having initiated what turned out to be the race-winning move with a canny attack inside the last 30 kilometers, the man from Izegem was trailing lone leader Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) together with Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), while holding a 15-second advantage over a four-man chasing group.

That was the moment when everything changed for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s 31-year-old, who was brought down by an incident with a spectator, causing a crash that saw Yves fly over his handlebars, luckily without any major consequences. Any chances of a top 3 finish were gone at that point, but Lampaert continued the race, getting on his bike quickly as more and more riders caught and passed him, digging deep for his last resources of energy and concluding the fastest edition in history a bitter tenth.

Here's Lampaert's teammate Davide Ballerini in the Arenberg sector. Sirotti photo

“I did a perfect race. It was hard and full gas from the beginning, but I fought and did my best, managing to be part of that strong group with 50 kilometers to go. Then, as soon as I sensed an opportunity, I accelerated, and things went really well once the group formed. I began hoping and thinking of a podium. Despite being a bit on my limit on the Carrefour de l’Arbre, I was confident and feeling that a top 3 was reachable, really within my grasp.”

“What else can I say? When the crash happened, I tried to save it, but there was nothing to be done, and I hit the ground. I remounted and continued the race, but despite coming home in tenth place, the disappointment is huge thinking of what could have been”, said a frustrated Yves at the end of Sunday’s breathless race after his fourth Paris-Roubaix top 10 finish.

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