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Paris-Roubaix 2015

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 Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the 2015 Paris-Roubaix.

Bonjour, hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of Paris-Roubaix. 

The sun is out and the roads and cobbles of northern France are dry. That should make for a fast a furious race across the cobbles.  

The teams have already arrived in Compiegine, with riders signing on and making last-minute adjustments to their bikes and tyre pressures.  

Race organisers ASO has confirmed that the race will start at 10:40 at kilometre zero, 10 minutes later than expected, due to the tailwind.

Riders are taking last minute photos on their team buses before heading to the start line.

It's a special day for Team Sky, as Bradley Wiggins rides his last ever race with the team. Can he win today and have a fairytale ending? 

Eisel's tweet is a selfie of the team before they head to the start. 

As ever, there are big crowds at the start, trying to see the riders before they start the race. Amongst them are Peter Sagan's father and several former winners.  

A total of 200 riders are on the official start list. 2014 winner Nikki Terpstra (Etixx-Quickstep) is number one. 

The last riders are signing on, with two big favourites Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) amongst them. 

The countdown begins. The race is about to start. 

And they're off! The riders roll out of Compeigne for the start of the 113th edition of Paris-Roubaix.

 The riders face a neutralised section of 5.7km before the km 0 point at Compiegne Clairoix. 

Cyclingnews has Barry Ryan and Sadhbh O'Shea on the ground at Paris-Roubaix to provide the best insight and information from the race. Our photographers will be in the thick of the action on motorbikes to capture the best images of the journey to the Hell of the North. 

The racing is underway! According to race radio, 200 riders started at exactly 10:42 local time in Compiegne. Only 253.5km to go.

The race distance of 253.5km includes 27 sectors of cobbles, for a total of 52.7km. That means the riders will spend 20% of the race on the legendary farm tracks of northern France.

The slight tailwind and warm, sunny conditions has sparked a fast start to the race. Riders are already looking to get into the early break of the day and grab some Paris-Roubaix glory.

This is the official race map fro this year's Paris-Roubaix.

The 27 cobbled sectors come mainly in the second half of the race route. The riders face 98km on normal roads before hitting the first sector of cobbles at Troisvilles to Inchy. 

This is the profile map of the race, showing the 27 sectors of pave. The sector numbers countdown on the way to Roubaix. 

Four riders tried to go clear but were quickly pulled back by the peloton.

The peloton is lined out on the left side of the road as the speed stays high. 

One of the four attackers was Adriano Malori (Movistar). He rode the Circuit Sarthe race last week, winning the time trial and finishing third overall. He is riding Paris-Roubaix to understand if he can be a future contender.  

233km remaining from 253km

228km remaining from 253km

 The  peloton is riding at close to 60km/h at the moment as it closes down the attack. 

221km remaining from 253km

The nine riders have a 20-second gap. In the move is Britain's Adam Blythe (Orica-GreenEdge).  

The nine riders are: Gregory Rast (Trek Factory Racing), Adam Blythe (Orica-GreenEdge), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Bretange-Seche), Tim Declercq (Topsport-Vlaanderen), Frederik Backaert (Wanty Groupe Gobert) and Ralf Matzka (Bora Argon 18). 

Also there is Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal). 

The UnitedHealthcare and MTN-Qhubeka teams missed the break and so maybe the ones to lead the chase.

The  peloton has eased and the break has gained a minute. 

The riders are on more exposed roads near St. Quentin and the cross winds are also a factor. It seems several riders were dropped for a moment, including Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), who likes to ride at the back early on in race, but they quickly got back on. 

Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar Team) is in no-man's land between the break and the peloton. He will have to make a huge effort to get across if he wants some glory out front.  

The average speed for the first hour was 50.4km/h.  

Sütterlin seems to have given up the chase and has dropped back to the peloton, which is at 1:25.   

188km remaining from 253km

It's going to be a warm, sunny and dry Paris-Roubaix.

183km remaining from 253km

The peloton has eased even more, with riders stopping for a natural break, meaning the break now has a 5:00 lead.

Before tackling the cobbles, the contenders for Paris-Roubaix face the media mixed zone at Saturday's pre-race team presentation in Compiègne's Place Charles de Gaulle, and for some, hurtling at 60kph into the jaws of Hell seems an altogether preferable experience to wading through the sea of microphones, cameras and notebooks in the shadow of the rostrum.

Defending champion Niki Terpsta (Etixx-QuickStep) kept his answers brief and to the point. Asked if he had drawn any lessons from racing against Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday, he grinned joylessly. "The lesson from last week? Don't sprint against him."

171km remaining from 253km

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), victor at Milan-San Remo, was the final rider to be presented to the gathered crowds, and though by now a steady drizzle was beginning to fall over Compiègne, he was equally willing to talk about his chances of becoming the first man since Sean Kelly to win La Primavera and Paris-Roubaix in the same year.

The French contenders, and in particular Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), received the loudest cheers from the crowds at the team presentation, Wiggins aside, and they were in demand in the mixed zone, too, where each man dealt with thorny question of whether he might become the first French winner in Roubaix since Frédéric Guesdon's surprise win in 1997.

The riders are just a few kilometres away from the first sector of cobbles. From Troisvilles to Inchy, sector number 27 is 2.2km long. 

In the absence of the injured Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, Johan Vansummeren (Ag2r-La Mondiale) is one of just two previous winners in the field on Sunday. The Belgian's upset 2011 victory came in an edition where Fabian Cancellara was the overwhelming favourite and he was not perturbed by Kristoff's status.

Katusha and Team Sky are leading the peloton to keep the break under control.  

The break hits the first sector but it is only an early taster of what is to come. 

Team Sky hits the front of the peloton before they start the cobbles. 

145km remaining from 253km

The break has already covered sector 26.

And now they hit sector 25, throwing up dust and bouncing on the pave. 

Etixx-Quickstep lead the peloton onto the first sector. The pace is high but steady for now.

The peloton hits sector 26. Etixx lead again.  

Crash in the peloton!

Several riders go down, forcing others into the fields. Suddenly it's a cyclo-cross race.

It seems a wet part of the road, in the shadow of a tree, caused the crash. 

Steegmans (Trek) needed mecanical assistance and has a teammate on the ground. 

It seems the other Trek rider who crashed was Stijn Devolder. 

The peloton split after the crash and remains lined out.  

Devolder's race seems over. He was sat in the road and in clear pain.

Upfront, Sky and Etixx are leading the peloton.

Several riders are fighting to get back on after the crash.  

The peloton is already spread out over the pave. Sky and Etixx clearly want to create a hard race.

The peloton hits sector 24. The pave sectors are coming quick and fast now.  

Jonas Ahlstrand (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) goes down at the back of the peloton. This is a fast race, with little chance to get back on after a crash.

There's a slight split in the peloton as Sky and Etixx keep the speed high.

The  peloton hits sector 23.

It's from Vertain to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon and is 2.3km long. 

Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) is near the front too. 

125km remaining from 253km

The break is working well together, lined out in a semi-echelon, with the wind coming from the right. 

120km remaining from 253km

Crash! Two riders go down on a tight corner. 

Malori is one of the riders to go down. 

Wiggins is near the back of the peloton as other riders crash ahead of him.

Westra goes down. 

Alan Maragoni (Cannondale-Garmin) was also caught up in the spill. 

With Devolder out, the Trek team now lacks a real team leader. It's been a tough spring for the US team.

The peloton is spread across the cobbles, with riders in each gutter and a line down the crown of the road.

114km remaining from 253km

110km remaining from 253km

Tim Declercq (Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise) flatted on the pave but is back chasing after getting a wheel from Mavic.  

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) is looking to add another podium, at least, to the one he took a week ago at the Tour of Flanders. The Belgian says that he’s on good form for today’s race.

The average speed has dipped to 41.2km/h as the cobbles fill the route but the average speed after three hours remains high at 45,7 km/h.

Declercq is back in the break of nine riders. They lead the peloton by 6:50

The race is approaching Wallers an the Forest of Arenberg. Things are going to get nasty very soon.  

Sector 19 for the break. Haveluy has 4 stars and is 2.5km long. 

Kristoff is at the back of the bunch but trying to move up before the pave.

Upfront Eisel is upping the pace for Sky. The peloton is over 200m long.  

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) is also moving up after an urgent natural break.

Sky and Giant are massing on the front of the peloton.

5km to go the Forest for the peloton!

First they face the Haveluy sector. 

A wheel change for a Team Sky leader. It could have been Wiggins.

Wiggins is up front, it seems it was Eisel who flatted.

Crash! 

Several riders go down at the back of the peloton.

97km remaining from 253km

Westra was again caught in the crash, as Thomas tries to get back to the front before the Forest. 

The break hits the Forest of Arenberg sector. This is going to hurt. 

The Forest of Arenberg sector is 2.4km and has five stars. It is a terrible sector due to the rough surface and moss.  

De Bie is struggling as the Forest splits the break. 

Aleksejs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) leads the race through the Forest of Arenberg.

Here comes the peloton.

The peloton has made it through the Forest. Now it's time for the peloton. 

The  peloton hits the Forest of Arenberg!

They go under the bridge as the peloton lines out through the huge crowds.

Crash! Shane Archbold (Bora) goes down!  

BMC lead the peloton.

The cobbles is rough and riders are bouncing on the pave. But the peloton is still together.

Sky seems to have eased off to wait for Thomas.

Wiggins is well down too. The team will be hoping to move up after the Forest. 

up front Haussler hits the front and kicks up the pace. 

Riders grab bottles and bars after exciting the pave and turning left.  The  riders will now see who is still there and still feeling strong before deciding their tactics.  

88km remaining from 253km

Greipel made a quick attack in the peloton but was quickly caught.  

Sky has moved back to the front, as a Cofidis riders launches an attack. 

The Wallers – Hélesmes is next, sector 17. As the final riders and the broom wagon pass through the Forest of Arenberg. 

A level crossing has stopped part of the peloton! 

Some riders ducked under the closing barriers but that was close.

The riders kept going despite the barriers being down on on half of the road. Most of the favourites made it but the race has been slowed by a motorbike official, to allow those blocked to get back on. 

Riders in the peloton are eating and drinking as they roll along.  

The level crossing incident has allowed the break to open their gap to 5:30.

Crash! Thomas goes down. 

He seemed to hit a kerb that curved to the right. 

He is up and chasing on a new bike but is in pain. 

He seemed to shake is head but is chasing and in the cars. 

The race is back on and the peloton hits the Hornaing sector. It is 3.7km long. 

It has four stars and often sees some attacks go. 

Lotto Soudal and Etixx are leading the peloton and upping the pace. 

There are some gaps opening in the peloton.

Stannard is on the front for Team Sky. The British teams seems to have changed its team leadership after Thomas' crash.

75km remaining from 253km

72km remaining from 253km

De Vresse (Astana) has attacked from the peloton but he is not going clear. 

If you have just joined our live coverage, check out our start line gallery of the riders from the start in Compiegne. Click here. 

The Etixx team is on the front again. Stybar is one of their team leaders. Read what he had to say by clicking here.

The break is through the feed zone but is loosing ground.

Behind Etixx has four riders on the front. Terpstra is looking for a second victory as he explained here. 

 

Etixx is trying to blow the race apart. 

There is a strong wind from the left and the peloton has split into several groups. 

Kristoff is in a second group, Wiggins in the third group.   

Riders are also feeding and so the peloton is coming back together.

Upfront the break is splitting on the pave. Perichon has flatted. 

61km remaining from 253km

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) is fighting to save his race. He insisted he is not under pressure when he spoke before the race. Click here to read what he had to say.

The break hits the Orchies sector (12) but their lead is down to 2:40.  

There is a strong side wind blowing as the peloton hits sector 12. The Kristoff group has caught the Etixx leaders, making a bunch of at 70 riders. 

Also in the front peloton are Terpstra, Stybar, Vandenbergh, Degenkolb, Sagan, Stannard, Van Avermaet and Boom.

FDJ helped bring the peloton back together, working for Demare.

Flat for Pozzato! 

It will be difficult for Pozzato to get back up before the important Mons-en-Pévèle sector.

Attacks are coming at the head of the peloton. There are five riders going away. 

The peloton hits the Auchy-lez-Orchies – Bersée sector (11) and its chaos.  

Kristoff is near the front, with Terpstra and Sagan with him.

Most of the riders are on the grass.

Riders are being spat out of the back of the peloton.

Stannard is up front and quickly jumps  across the road to try to get on Sagan's wheel. 

Crash! 

Vansummeren goes down and blocks the road. Breschel is also down and is in pain.

Stannard is trying to split the peloton.

The strong side winds are making the selection even clearer.

Etixx is riding an aggressive race, with Trentin driving the pace at the front of a lead group.  

These are attacks before the big shake out on the 3km long Mons-en-Pévèle sector.

Wiggins is in the peloton and moves up to near the front. 

There are less than 40 riders in the peloton now. 

It's warm and dry today but the wind is a big factor and often a cross wind.

46km remaining from 253km

The peloton makes it through a tight left turn ok but now they are exposed to the cross winds in the fields. Half of the peloton is on a grass strip next to the pave. 

The wind is cross/head and deterring attacks. 

Vandenbergh goes for it alone for Etixx and is the first to exit the sector. 

The peloton has let Vandenbergh go clear. Nobody wants to chase just yet.

There are huge crowds along the cobbled sectors. Vandenbergh gets a massive cheers as he enters sector 9 alone. Luke Rowe (Sky) is leading the chase. 

FDJ is also helping the chase.

40km remaining from 253km

Bak and Greipel of lotto Soudal lead the peloton onto the sector but Bak over cooks it on the first corner and crashes. 

That could be fatal for the French champion's chances.

Vandenbergh is making a big effort to go across to the break alone but the peloton is not far behind.

34km remaining from 253km

However there is no rest in the peloton after an attack by Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) and three others.

Sector seven in Templeuve begins at the windmill. It's a brief sector but Wiggins has gone on the attack.

He is first off the pave and is trying to go across to Vandenbergh. 

He quickly catches the Etixx rider and powers on. Debusschere is also trying to get across.  

Debuschere sprints to get on the wheels of the two. Stybar is also trying to get across.

This is a very interesting attack, with the Cysoing – Bourghelle coming very soon.

Stybar is on, so Vandenbergh will surely work too to drive the quartet clear. 

Wanty and Katusha are leading the chase of the four.

 There are only 35/40 riders in the main peloton.

The peloton is closing down the four.

Wiggins and the others are caught just before the Cysoing – Bourghelle (6) sector of pave.   

It is the gate to hell, with the Camphin-en-Pévèl sector soon after.

The Le Carrefour de l’Arbre follows soon after.  

Also up front are Boom, Wiggins, Van Avermaet, Stybar.

Sagan is also there, as 15 riders leave the pave with a slight gap. 

Sagan is also there. 

The big names are about to sweep up the break of the day. 

Terpstra has shown himself for the first time today. 

However there's a split, coming off the Bourghelles à Wannehain (6) sector after Sep Vanmarcke (LototNL) drives the pace. 

However nobody is ready to commit to the attack.

Next it's time for the Camphin-en-Pévèle (5) sector. 

Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) tries to go clear again but he is quickly closed down. Boom (Astana) looks strong as Vanmarcke seems to have flatted. He is being dragged back up by two teammates.

Here we go! Camphin-en-Pévèle lines out the riders.

Vanmarcke is only 50m off the back of the peloton.

Roelandts is off the front with Bozic but the big names are not far behind. 

17km remaining from 253km

Marcato is trying to chase with a dozen or so riders left in the peloton. 

Now its time for the carrefour de l'Arbre (4) sector. There are huge crowds, cheering on Roelandts. 

The carrefour de l'Arbre has five stars because it is so tough and long. 

Stannard is leading the chase behind on the grass, with Degenkolb and Boom.  

Wiggins is still there in the group just behind.

The race is coming back together before no doubt exploding again. 

There's a strong head wind at this point. That will stop solo attacks but Terpstra surges away on the crown of the cobbles.

Roelandts is still clear after the Carrefour de l'Arbre but there are 20 riders close behind him. 

This race is far from over...

Kristoff is still there. 

Riders are fighting for the wheels in the strong cross winds.

Jens Keukeleire (Orica GreenEdge) is in the front group and drags the chasers up to a fading Roelandts.

Boom tries an attack but is quickly chased down. The riders are watching each other on this road section.

Now Van Avermaet and Lampeart go clear. 

11km remaining from 253km

De Backer is trying to go across and Degenkolb has jumped across to him for a free ride.

The leading riders are spread out along the road.

Some, like Wiggins and Sagan are at the back and perhaps waiting for one late attack or the sprint.

Up front now Degenkolb is going alone in the chase of Van Avermaet and Lampaert.

8km remaining from 253km

Degenkolb is on the duo to create a leading trio. They lead the peloton by 30 seconds.

Lampaert is not working, as Stybar is behind is a chasing quartet.

5km remaining from 253km

Degenkolb forces Van Avermaet to work as behind Sagan has a flat and takes a new bike. 

He threw his bike in disgust and anger.

The chasers are Elmiger, Stybar, Boom and Keukeleire (Orica GreenEdge).

3km remaining from 253km

Stybar jumps and gets across to the trio. Now this four could stay away. 

If they stay away it will still be difficult for him to beat Degenkolb in a sprint.

Wiggins surges behind but is is chasing. The winner will come from up the road.

2km remaining from 253km

They hit the final symbolic sector of pave. 1.5km to go!

It's time to enter the velodrome! Seven riders together. Sprint finish!

Degenkolb is third wheel as the bell rings.

Stybar leads out.

But Degenkolb hits out early and wins Paris-Roubaix!!! 

He was the fastest of the front group an won with power and speed. He raised his arms and looked to the sky as he hit the line.

Stybar and Van Avermaet were just behind him and complete the podium.

The chase group finished 30 seconds behind with Bradley Wiggins finishing in the middle of the pack in his final race with Team Sky.

Van Avermaet is in tears in the track centre after missing out on victory.

Replays of the sprint shows that Degenkolb blew his rivals off his wheel in the sprint.  

It seems that Degenkolb is the first rider since Sean Kelly in 1986 to win both Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in the same season. 

Wow! What a race! It was tactical and aggressive, with no one rider able to go clear alone. Degenkolb was the strongest and the fastest today, a deserved winner.  

This is the provisional top ten result: 

Ten riders inside 31 seconds shows how close a race it was today.

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