Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won his first ever Paris-Roubaix after a late solo attack took him clear of a group that included all the race favourites.
The Dutchman took advantage as the other riders controlled each other after a nervous, tiring race in dry conditions and carved out a winning margin that allowed him cross the line alone and let a roar of celebration. John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) won the sprint finish for second place, some 20 seconds behind Terpstra. Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was third.
Terpstra attacked after the final sector of pave with six kilometres to go. Other riders hesitated in the headwind and so Terpstra got a gap and never looked back.
"For me it’s the most beautiful classic of the year. It's a dream to win this. It was the big goal I was aiming for and I did it." Terpstra said after lifting the winner's cobble stone prize.
We had Tom in the front group but the directeur sportif said it was good to do some attacks. I went after the cobbled section and it was the good one."
Fabian Cancellara was proud of his podium place. "I'm tried and I'm disappointed. I race to win but it didn’t go how I'd hoped," he said.
How it happened
Around ten o'clock on Sunday morning 199 riders gathered in the Place Général de Gaulle in Compiègne for the start of the 112th edition of Paris-Roubaix.
It was a very chilly morning in Compiègne but few riders were wearing additional gear as they knew they would get warm real soon. At 10:15 the bunch got underway with Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and his strong teammates as top favourites on a course that would face mainly a headwind on their way to Roubaix.
After strolling through the streets of Compiègne the peloton passed the official start point at 20:25 in the outskirts of town. After three kilometres of racing a group of eight riders managed to get away and soon after the peloton sat up happy to let the race settle into a usual scenario.
The eight leaders were John Murphy (United Healthcare), Kenny de Haes (Lotto Belisol), Andreas Schillinger (NetApp-Endura), Clément Koretzky and Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Seche Environement), David Boucher (FDJ.fr), Tim De Troyer (Wanty-Groupe Robert) and Michael Kolar (Tinkoff-Saxo). The eight attackers worked well together and in one hour of racing they opened a lead of nine minutes over the peloton with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Belkin, Trek Factory Racing and Katusha setting the pace at the front of the peloton.
When approaching the first pavé sectors after 97.5km of racing the gap began to drop. The first zone started in Troisvilles. It is sector number 28, meaning there were 27 more sectors to cover during the 157km race.
After three dusty sectors Tom Boonen was spotted at the back with what must have been his first flat tyre in all his Paris-Roubaix participations. Soon after Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) flatted too. Both riders easily returned in the peloton but it was a sign of a tense, tactical race.
A little later Démare was among some riders who went down in what must have been the first crash of the day during sector 24 of cobbles. All the riders were able to continue their race and by the time the peloton got through sector 20 at 115km from the finish, the gap was down to nearly six minutes.
Near Denain, it became clear the peloton was getting nervous. The speed increased and so did the crashes and mechanicals. First Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) flatted. When he returned to the peloton a serious crash had just occurred under a bridge where steel poles separated the road from the sidewalk. Among the victims was outsider Alexander Kristoff (Katusha). Peter Sagan (Cannondale) flatted too. He faced a hard time to get back to the front of the peloton before the Forest of Arenberg with its famous Trouée d'Arenberg which was just ten kilometres away.
Team Sky lead the peloton on the final section of road before the Trouée, as speeds touched 60km/h on the slightly down approach to the long section of cobbles through the trees. In the front group Boucher flatted just before entering the forest and once in the forest Koretzky and De Haes flatted too while Kolar got dropped. Only Schillinger, Murphy, De Troyer and Jarrier remained in break of the day.
The peloton entered the Forest of Arenberg 4:20 after the leaders, led by Björn Leukemans (Wanty-Groupe Robert). In contrast to other years there were few incidents, although Kristoff flatted halfway the long stretch as did Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing) who threw his bike away in anger.
The peloton didn't make up a lot of time on the four remaining leaders in the Forest and the big favourites remained composed and in control. However Kristoff was riding behind a second peloton and a little later the Norwegian flatted again putting him out of contention. Boucher nearly caught back up with the four leaders but then was forced to stop at a railway crossing. Trains and level crossing are also part of what makes Paris-Roubaix so special.
The Roulston crash changes the race
The real action started early in the peloton when Hayden Roulston (Trek Factory Racing) hopped off the sidewalk just before sector 16. He crashed heavily and took down a lot of riders with him. His team leader Fabian Cancellara was also blocked by the crash and was caught in the second half of the peloton. It was the first real turning point in the race.
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep led the peloton over sector 16 of pave in Hornaing à Wandignies. It is 3.7km long sector and rated at four stars, and forced Cancellara to chase. Sagan was spotted in trouble at the back of the peloton and the bunch split in several parts as the cobbles and strong winds took their toll.
A group led by a strong Thor Hushovd (BMC) powered away but their effort was quickly neutralized by Omega Pharma-QuickStep once off the cobbles. On sector 15 Hushovd attacked a second time as the race refused to settle into a logical pattern.
In front there were only three riders left as Murphy was caught back by the peloton at the feed zone. They had about a minute on the peloton but a whole new race was about to begin.
After leaving sector 14 in Tilloy à Sars-et-Rosières, attacks kept flying with Sagan still riding at the back of the peloton and Cancellara still off the pace. A group including Bert De Backer (Giant-Shimano), Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin), Mathieu Ladagnous (FDJ.fr), Yannick Martinez (Europcar) and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) sneaked away and on sector 13 in Beuvry-la-Forêt à Orchies, Boonen launched a solo counter-attack. He quickly bridged up with to group and put his cards on the table. Was he riding to win, in a show of strength, or playing a team game.
Boonen's frustration at a lack of support and hard work from the other riders in the move indicated he believed he had a chance of victory. On sector 12 in Orchies, Boonen once again accelerated trying to reduce the numbers in the lead group. Five other riders survived the cut. They were Thomas, De Backer, Martinez, Ladagnous. However behind BMC was well organised and brought the peloton back to a handful of seconds just before sector 11.
Boonen accelerated once again and this time only De Backer, Martinez and Thomas were able to keep up. Hushovd accelerated in the peloton and bridged up to the four leaders. Once off sector 11 in Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée, the peloton were on the verge of catching the Boonen group but then they eased up. BMC was no longer doing the work and with several big teams represented, no other team wanted to take the initiative.
On a knife edge
The six-rider attack had a gap of 50 seconds at 40km to go from finish and the race was on a knife edge, ready to go either way. Boonen tried to go alone or at least split the break several times but did not have the power to stay clear.
Peter Sagan had a difficult race but did not lack courage and did not want allow Boonen to stay away and set up victory. After making the selection despite being at the back of the main group on several sectors, he attacked at 35km to go with Maarten Wynants (Belkin). For a while the two were stick in the middle but eventually caught Boonen's group with 22km to go.
Behind the chasers were also active and within reach of the attack. Sep Vanmarcke had two Belkin teammates up front but was the team's leader and attacked with Cancellara on the legendary Camphin-en-Pévèle sector. They quickly got across to the Boonen group, reopening the race. However Sagan had attacked alone, in a youthful and hopeful attempt at lone victory. He got a gap and never eased up but a 25-rider peloton could see him up the road.
The 2.1km long Carrefour de l’Arbre sector of pave often decides Paris-Roubaix. This time Vanmarcke, Cancellara Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Degenkolb got clear and managed to close the gap on Sagan, who had gone into the red in his solo move.
However this was not to be the decisive move. Behind Terpstra tried to drag Boonen back into contention and Wiggins and Thomas teamed up to help the chase. Sebastian Langeveld (Garmin-Sharp) was also there and they caught Cancellara & Co before the final Willems à Hem sector of pave. There was suddenly 11 riders in the front group, all with a chance of victory.
A group sprint in the velodrome?
A big group sprinting for victory has not been seen for years but Degenkolb believed in is chances and got teammate Bert De Backer to set a hard pace on the pave.
There was seven kilometres on road left to race and Terpstra took advantage of the moment. Omega Pharma-QuickStep also had Stybar and a very tired Boonen in the move and so could afford to play a card. The Dutch track specialist and fine time trialist jumped from near the back of the peloton and was quickly up to speed and quickly opened a gap.
The other riders hesitated for a vital few seconds in the headwind and Terpstra was away. He quickly opened a 15-second gap and never looked back. He handed the final symbolic sector of pave with ease and then entered the velodrome alone, with a roar from the packed crowd. He completed his lap and a half at a steady speed and then celebrated with a loud roar and with some emotional arm waving. He has learned how to ride the Classics at Omega Pharma-QuickStep in recent years and has stepped up to take the biggest victory of his career.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||6:09:01|
|2||John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano||0:00:20|
|3||Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing|
|4||Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|5||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|6||Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale|
|7||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky|
|8||Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp|
|9||Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky|
|10||Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|11||Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano||0:00:26|
|12||Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ.fr||0:00:47|
|13||Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky|
|14||Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|15||Björn Leukemans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|16||Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|17||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|18||Jos van Emden (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|19||Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team||0:01:05|
|20||Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|21||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky|
|22||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team|
|23||Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|24||Yannick Martinez (Fra) Team Europcar|
|25||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge|
|26||Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|27||Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|28||Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||0:02:55|
|29||Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|30||Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team|
|31||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky|
|32||Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|33||Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|34||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|35||Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|36||Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale|
|37||Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team||0:02:59|
|38||Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin Sharp|
|39||Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|40||Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team|
|41||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||0:04:14|
|42||Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale||0:05:48|
|43||Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar||0:06:42|
|44||Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling|
|45||Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|46||Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale|
|47||Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale|
|48||Brice Feillu (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement||0:06:44|
|49||Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|50||Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|51||Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|52||Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo||0:07:06|
|53||Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek Factory Racing|
|54||Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team|
|55||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing|
|56||Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp - Endura|
|57||Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|58||Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Belisol|
|59||Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|60||Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|61||Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team|
|62||Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling|
|63||Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp - Endura|
|64||Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp|
|65||Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky|
|66||Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura|
|67||Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp|
|68||Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|69||Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano|
|70||Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|71||Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|72||Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale|
|73||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|74||Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha|
|75||Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol||0:07:22|
|76||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||0:07:51|
|77||Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team||0:09:55|
|78||Jarl Salomein (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|79||James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|80||Andrea Francesco Palini (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|81||Martijn Maaskant (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team|
|82||Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|83||Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano|
|84||Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|85||Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team|
|86||Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha|
|87||Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale|
|88||William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|89||Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|90||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|91||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling|
|92||Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha|
|93||Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura|
|94||Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing|
|95||Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|96||Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|97||Tim De Troyer (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|98||Marko Kump (Slo) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|99||Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing||0:10:08|
|100||Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano||0:13:16|
|101||Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale||0:13:42|
|102||Clément Koretzky (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|103||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|104||Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|105||Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp|
|106||Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|107||Edward Theuns (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|108||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|109||Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol|
|110||Damien Gaudin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:16:14|
|111||Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ.fr||0:16:22|
|112||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky|
|113||David Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp||0:16:40|
|114||Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing||0:18:37|
|115||Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling||0:18:39|
|116||Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano|
|117||Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky|
|118||Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge|
|119||Dominic Klemme (Ger) IAM Cycling|
|120||Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing|
|121||John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team||0:18:54|
|122||Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team|
|123||Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|124||Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team|
|125||Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin Sharp|
|126||Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha|
|127||Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team||0:22:04|
|128||Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|129||Vegard Breen (Nor) Lotto Belisol|
|130||Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto Belisol||0:22:08|
|131||Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura||0:27:42|
|132||Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team||0:27:46|
|133||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|134||Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp - Endura|
|135||Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|136||Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha|
|137||Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|138||Robert Förster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team|
|139||Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|140||Davide Frattini (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team|
|141||Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|142||Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale|
|143||Ralf Matzka (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura|
|144||Bradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team|
|DNF||Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Marcel Aregger (Swi) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|DNF||Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|DNF||Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo|
|DNF||Christophe Laborie (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|DNF||Benjamin Le Montagner (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|DNF||Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|DNF||Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert|
|DNF||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge|
|DNF||Gert Joeaar (Est) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Louis Verhelst (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise|
|DNF||Antoine Duchesne (Can) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Erwann Corbel (Fra) Bretagne - Seche Environnement|
|DNF||Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale|
|DNF||Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team NetApp - Endura|
|DNF||Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing|
|DNF||Iljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|DNF||Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team|
|DNF||Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica GreenEdge|
|DNF||Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Garmin Sharp|
|DNF||David Boucher (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|DNF||Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ.fr|
|DNF||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Edward King (USA) Cannondale|
|DNF||Jerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar|
|DNF||Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
|DNF||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida|
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