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Peter Sagan wins Paris-Roubaix

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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) sprints for 4th at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) sprints for 4th at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) sprints for 4th at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) sprints for 4th at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) leads the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) leads the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) with Peter Sagan in the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) with Peter Sagan in the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) on the podium at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) on the podium at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) finishes second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) finishes second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) second at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Niki Terpstra third at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Niki Terpstra third at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier after crossing the finish line at Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier after crossing the finish line at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan leads the breakaway in the last 50km at Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan leads the breakaway in the last 50km at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan holds up his bike after winning Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan holds up his bike after winning Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier after crossing the finish line at Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier after crossing the finish line at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan holds his cobble trophy after winning Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan holds his cobble trophy after winning Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan places his cobble trophy on the podium after winning Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan places his cobble trophy on the podium after winning Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (winner) and Niki Terpstra (third) on the podium at Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (winner) and Niki Terpstra (third) on the podium at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan waits to receive his cobble trophy

Peter Sagan waits to receive his cobble trophy (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan on the podium at 2018 Paris-Roubaix, Silvan DIller second and Niki Terpstra third

Peter Sagan on the podium at 2018 Paris-Roubaix, Silvan DIller second and Niki Terpstra third (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) racing 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) racing 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan celebrates his victory in the Roubaix Velodrome

Peter Sagan celebrates his victory in the Roubaix Velodrome (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan holds up the cobble trophy as the winner of 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan holds up the cobble trophy as the winner of 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan removes his sun glasses after winning Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan removes his sun glasses after winning Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier shake hands after the two-up sprint in the Roubaix Velodrome

Peter Sagan and Silvan Dillier shake hands after the two-up sprint in the Roubaix Velodrome (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix in the Roubaix Velodrome

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix in the Roubaix Velodrome (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) celebrates winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) bows to the crowds on the podium after winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) bows to the crowds on the podium after winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) all smiles after winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) all smiles after winning 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins two-up sprint ahead of Silvan Dillier (AG2R) to take the 2018 Paris-Roubaix title

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins two-up sprint ahead of Silvan Dillier (AG2R) to take the 2018 Paris-Roubaix title (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Alexander Kristoff crashes at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Alexander Kristoff crashes at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix cobbles

2018 Paris-Roubaix cobbles (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacks and leads the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacks and leads the breakaway at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix, Silvan Diller finishes second

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix, Silvan Diller finishes second (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) racing 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) racing 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Getty Images)
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The Belgian flag flying high at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The Belgian flag flying high at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix the riders are lined up to start the race

2018 Paris-Roubaix the riders are lined up to start the race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton line up for 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The peloton line up for 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The colours of the peloton at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The colours of the peloton at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The start of the 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The start of the 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The start of the 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The start of the 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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And they are off! 2018 Paris-Roubaix

And they are off! 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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First ride over the cobbles at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

First ride over the cobbles at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Into the woods at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Into the woods at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The official start for the 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The official start for the 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sky at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Team Sky at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R La Mondiale)

Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R La Mondiale) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton 2018 Paris-Roubaix

The peloton 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Alexander Kristoff at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Oliver Naesen at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rough roads at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Rough roads at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris-Roubaix

2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sky at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Team Sky at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A mechanical at 2018 Paris Roubaix

A mechanical at 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sign on at 2018 Paris Roubaix

Sign on at 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan at 2018 Paris Roubaix

Peter Sagan at 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The bikes at 2018 Paris Roubaix

The bikes at 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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On the start line at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

On the start line at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alexander Kristoff at 2018 Paris Roubaix

Alexander Kristoff at 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Oliver Naesen (AG2R) 2018 Paris Roubaix

Oliver Naesen (AG2R) 2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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2018 Paris Roubaix

2018 Paris Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Swiss champion Silvan Dillier (AG2R)

Swiss champion Silvan Dillier (AG2R) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images Sport)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) silenced the critics with a near-faultless and all-conquering performance to win Paris-Roubaix.

The world champion attacked from a group of favourites with 54km remaining and never looked back. He swept up the remnants of the early break, with Silvan Dillier (AG2R la Mondiale) the only rider to capable of staying with him.

The duo worked together over the cobbles, and despite a late fightback from the chasers, entered the velodrome together. Sagan took the sprint to seal his second Monument win, and end Quick-Step's domination of the Spring Classics.

Dillier's classy ride was enough to seal second, with former winner Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) completing the podium. Last year's winner, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), who attacked just before Sagan, was forced to settle for fourth.

The day belonged to the world champion, who became the first rider in 37 years to win Paris-Roubaix in the rainbow jersey.

Sagan's winning attack came after excellent work from his teammates, who nullified several dangerous moves, and kept their leader clear of trouble when several other riders were caught behind in crashes.

His attack came at almost the same point at which Tom Boonen broke free to win in 2012. Considering Boonen's recent criticism over the Bora rider, Sagan could not have offered a more powerful response, letting his legs do the talking, as Boonen's former teammates forlornly tried to get on terms.

Fittingly, it was Dillier who entered the warm roar of the velodrome first. The Swiss champion was a late call-up for AG2R, and spent over 200km on the attack, but matched Sagan pedal stroke for pedal stroke when the Bora rider made contact. Dillier took to the high banking and while he clearly gave it one last effort, he was no match for Sagan, who raised his arms as he took the win.

"This is amazing," Sagan said in a post-race flash interview. "I have to say that this year, I was never involved in a crash, I never flat tired, I saved energy and then just did one step forward; I attacked. I kept going until the finish.

"I, now, stayed much better this year than in all the other years that I have finished Paris-Roubaix, where I was much more tired than today.

"I am very happy. I have to say thank you to all my teammates because they did a great job. They kept the group all together from the start. I did my winning move with 50km to go and I'm very happy to come first. It's an amazing feeling."

And as first and second free-wheeled around the velodrome to soak up the applause, Terpstra appeared from nowhere. The Tour of Flanders winner had been active once Sagan had attacked, and formed a dangers group alongside Van Avermaet, Sep Vanmarcke (EF Education First), Taylor Phinney (EF Education First), Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo), Wout Van Aert (Veranda’s Willems Crelan), and Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal).

The counter-attack brought Sagan to within 43 seconds at one point, but the world champion was in a league of his own, and once out of sight their next rendezvous came inside the velodrome.

How it unfolded

The 174 riders at the start in Compiègne were able to get ready for the 257-kilometre race while taking in a bit of sun. Meanwhile, in the north, rain was coming down on several pavé sectors. Tom Stamsnijder (Sunweb) was a non-starter.

As expected the race took a fast start out of Compiègne. Only after an hour, a breakaway move was able to distance the peloton.

The group existed of nine riders, being Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Ludovic Robeet (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Geoffrey Soupe (Cofidis, Solutions Credits), Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), and Jay Robert Thomson (Dimension Data).

Their lead grew up to more than eight minutes in the long run-up to the cobbles. The speed picked up in the peloton when approaching the first pavé sector in Troisvilles after 165 kilometres. Just before this sector, there were two crashes that took out Stefan Küng (BMC) and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar).

Mud on the cobbles leads to crashes

The leaders hit the first cobbles at pavé sector 29 in Troisvilles with a lead of eight minutes on the peloton. In contrast to previous years, the cobbles were covered with mud. The leaders had no problems on this sector, but much later, the peloton didn't pass through unscathed.

There was a massive crash in the belly of the peloton with Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha) injured, but he was able to continue his race. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was one of the victims too, and he abandoned little later. Last year's winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R) and in-form Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) were among the many distanced riders.

Katusha, Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe charged forward in the peloton, with the Van Avermaet group at half a minute.

On the following section Michael Goolaerts (Veranda's Willems-Crelan) crashed heavily. The first messages concerning his crash indicated he needed urgent help. NOS was able to contact team DS Michiel Elijzen who said Goolaerts had a cardiac arrest and received CPR. [ed update 22:57  BST: We are deeply saddened to write that Michael Goolaerts died this evening. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates].

There were punctures from John Degenkolb, Dylan Groenewegen, Zdenek Stybar and Arnaud Démare. They were able to come back into the Quick-Step Floors controlled peloton at 130 kilometres from the finish. Later, there was a crash that took out Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) and last year's third-placed Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First-Drapac).

Into the Arenberg and Gilbert attacks

The previous events had turned the peloton into a rather small group of about 50 riders. They were trailing the nine leaders by 2:30 when reaching the famous Arenberg Forest. Jelle Wallays set the pace in the Trouée Arenberg, and the group broke into pieces.

The small peloton of about 50 riders was led into the forest by German champion Marcus Burghardt, working for Peter Sagan. Halfway through the 2400 metres long section Mike Teunissen (Sunweb) accelerated and only Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) joined his move.

Once off the cobbles, only six riders survived in front, two minutes ahead of the Teunissen and Gilbert and the peloton on their heels. Nils Politt (Katusha) joined the move. Mads Pedersen (Trek) tried to close the gap too, but he punctured.

At 80 kilometres from the finish, the trio blasted by the three dropped riders from the early breakaway move. The peloton was trailing this strong group by 20 seconds. Trek moved to the front to control this breakaway move, which was neutralized ahead of pavé sector 16.

Czech champion Zdenek Stybar was next to try an acceleration, and he extended his lead on the cobbles of Warlaing à Brillon. Behind him, John Degenkolb, Lars Bak and Stijn Vandenbergh escaped the peloton.

Next up was the difficult pavé sector from Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières. There were only four riders left in front as Paris-Nice winner Marc Soler was dropped. A strong Wallays, Dillier, Bystrom and Robeet were in front but once off this tough section, the four leaders were 40 seconds ahead of Stybar and Soler, with the peloton 20 seconds further back.

In between them, there was a group with Degenkolb, Vandenbergh, Bak and Boasson Hagen. At the feed zone, the gap between the leaders and the peloton was less than a minute, with everybody going full gas putting Ronde van Vlaanderen discovery Mads Pedersen in trouble. Stybar continued his effort on pavé sector 14 from Beuvry to Orchies while Soler sat up. Oliver Naesen and Yves Lampaert punctured out of the peloton near Orchies.

Van Avermaet lays the groundwork for Sagan

When approaching the 200km mark, only Wallays, Dillier and Bystrom remained in front. The peloton bridged back up with Stybar and Robeet while trailing the three leaders by half a minute. It seemed like the sign for Greg Van Avermaet to accelerate. His move at 55km from the finish was quickly neutralized but his second acceleration strung out the peloton.

Just like in Flanders the Belgian lacked the power to emerge alone but as the pace slowed Sagan pushed on the pedals and quickly opened a gap.

The world champion was on the break's coattails with 51km to go, while the chase from behind lacked cohesion and authority. It was telling that until that point Sagan was one of only a handful of Quick-Step's riders who hadn't been on back-foot due to crashes or mechanicals.

A few seconds, soon stretched to almost a minute as several counter-attacks were chased down. Sagan's presence at the front of the race seemed to give the break a new lease of life, before eventually Terpstra and Phinney helped to create a response that included Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke. The quartet linked up with Stuyven and Van Aert, who had attacked moments before, but as the race clicked through sectors 10, 9 and 8, the gap to Sagan only grew.

Terpstra tried to rally with 35km to go and although Bystrom cracked, and the Wallays fell back the Quick-Step rider was unable to mount a serious challenge to Sagan's growing authority.

The world champion cut a commanding figure as he led the race through the Carrefour de l'Arbre, with Diller in tow, and as the pair entered the final 10km to chase ran out of gas.

Van Aert's untimely mechanical ended his brave race, while Phinney put in one huge turn for Vanmarcke before slipping back.

Stuyven, Van Avermaet, Terpstra and Vanmarcke kept their slim hopes alive for as long as possible but up ahead the alliance between Dillier and Sagan held firm. Given what happened two years ago, when Mat Hayman shocked Tom Boonen, to win nothing was certain as the pair entered the velodrome.

Dillier's do-or-die attitude carried him to the front as he swung right and onto the track but as the line approached not even the underdog could hold back the growing inevitability.

The last 75m took place as if they were in slow motion; a chance to dwell on the cobbled classics; the Quick-Step domination, the tale of Flanders, and finally a flash of rainbow colours as Sagan closed another chapter of cycling history.

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Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe5:54:06
2Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
3Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:00:57
4Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:34
5Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:31
8Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
10Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal
11Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
12Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
13Wout Van Aert (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
14Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:37
15Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:03:07
16Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) LottoNL-Jumbo
17John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
18Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
19Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
20Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida
21Bert De Backer (Bel) Vital Concept Club0:03:48
22Mathew Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
23Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
24Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb0:04:23
25Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
26Marc Sarreau (Fra) FDJ
27Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
28Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
29Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
30Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
31Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
32Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:10
33Truls Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro Team
34Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
35Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:07:40
36Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
37Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
38Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
39Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:07:45
40Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:50
41Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
42Tanguy Turgis (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:12:15
43Jimmy Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
44Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:12:54
45Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
46Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
47Jenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
48Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
49Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky
50Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
51Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
52Maximilian Richard Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
53Julien Morice (Fra) Vital Concept Club
54Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
55Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
56Jimmy Duquennoy (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
57Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
58Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
59Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
60Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
61Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ
62Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) FDJ
63Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
64Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
65Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ
66Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
67Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
68Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
69Roger Kluge (Ger) Mitchelton-Scott
70Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
71Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
72Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin0:13:01
73Ludovic Robeet (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:13:11
74Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:14:46
75Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
76Bram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:14:48
77Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:14:49
78Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb0:14:56
79Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
80Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie0:15:00
81Pascal Eenkhoorn (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
82Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
83Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Vital Concept Club0:15:02
84Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team
85Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
86Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
87Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky0:15:04
88Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
89Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic0:17:41
90Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin
91Nuno Matos (Por) Movistar Team
92Julien Stassen (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic0:17:47
93Kenny Dehaes (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
94Dries De Bondt (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan0:20:12
95Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:20:47
96Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale0:23:01
97Jack Bauer (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
98Julien Trarieux (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
99Iuri Filosi (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
100Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
101Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:26:54
OTLTimo Roosen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
OTLSenne Leysen (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
OTLLudwig De Winter (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
OTLDavid Per (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
OTLFilippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
OTLOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
OTLSimon Sellier (Fra) Direct Energie
OTLRomain Cardis (Fra) Direct Energie
OTLRyan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
OTLSindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Fortuneo-Samsic
OTLJérémy Lecroq (Fra) Vital Concept Club
OTLStijn Steels (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFRuslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFMads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFIvan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
DNFSebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFBorut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
DNFBram Welten (Ned) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFMichael Carbel (Den) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFMaxime Daniel (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFMagnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFLaurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team
DNFMeiyin Wang (Chn) Bahrain-Merida
DNFBenoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
DNFEvaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFGeraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFLuke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
DNFStefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
DNFMarcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
DNFAlex Kirsch (Lux) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFLukas Spengler (Swi) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
DNFCorentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFCarlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFPrzemyslaw Kasperkiewicz (Pol) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFBrenton Jones (Aus) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFYannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
DNFJasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
DNFMarc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFHector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFAdrien Garel (Fra) Vital Concept Club
DNFStijn Devolder (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFNelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
DNFJurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFNathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFFrancisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
DNFTim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
DNFTom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFLuka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
DNFRyan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
DNFRoberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFAntoine Duchesne (Can) FDJ
DNFOlivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
DNFLennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFMaciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFNicolas Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFYohann Gene (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFDamien Gaudin (Fra) Direct Energie
DNFGediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAndreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Sunweb
DNFSøren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
DNFIan Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
DNFAidis Kruopis (Ltu) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFMichael Goolaerts (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data
DNFRüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe

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