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Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Live coverage


The peloton has gathered in Compiègne for the first edition of the men's Paris-Roubaix in over two years. Postponed and then cancelled in 2020, and then postponed once more this spring, l'Enfer du Nord finally takes place on the first Sunday in October in what are set to be extremely testing conditions.

The roll-out is at 11.00am local time, with the peloton set to hit kilometre zero at 11.15. The first of 30 sectors of cobblestones comes after 96km at Troisvilles.

Rain has been general over Compiègne and northern France overnight, and this will be the first wet edition of Paris-Roubaix since... yesterday, when Lizzie Deignan soloed to victory in treacherous conditions to win the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Read ten conclusions from the race here.

The last rain-soaked men's edition of Paris-Roubaix came in 2002, when Johan Museeuw soloed to his third and final win on the famous old velodrome. Some riders in the field today, including Peter Sagan, Sep Vanmarcke, Michal Kwiatkowski and Matteo Trentin, sampled the Hell of the North in miserable weather on stage 5 of the 2014 Tour de France, when Lars Boom claimed stage honours in Arenberg and Vincenzo Nibali placed a hefty downpayment on final overall victory.

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is among the top tier of contenders for today's delayed race, though his media duties in midweek were largely devoted to poring over the details of the World Championships road race after Remco Evenepoel queried the Belgian strategy. He did, however, have the time to look ahead to the Queen of the Classics. "It's going to be a big mess when the cobbles are wet," Van Aert told Cyclingnews. "I'm not really in the group of guys looking forward to a wet Roubaix actually. I think it's really dangerous and for me, the race doesn't need all these extra difficulties." Read more here.

Van Aert's eternal rival Mathieu van der Poel, on the other hand, has suggested that a wet Paris-Roubaix would be 'quite cool.' The Dutchman is making his thrice-delayed debut in the race today. "I think it's quite cool if it rains but yeah, it will dangerous, for sure," Van der Poel said. Read more here.

Kasper Asgreen has the chance to complete the rarest Tour of Flanders-Paris-Roubaix double of them all this afternoon. The Dane beat Van der Poel to the line in Oudernaarde in April but has had to wait 6 months rather than 7 days for the chance to add Roubaix to his palmarès. "I’m in a completely different stage of my shape right now," Asgreen said on Thursday. "Had it been week apart, like normal, you could use the confidence that your shape was where it was supposed to be, but now it’s been so long, it’s like starting over." Read the full story here.

The peloton rolls out for the start of Paris-Roubaix beneath steady rain. The riders are negotiating the rain-slicked cobblestones of Compiègne, but they will face rather more daunting cobbles later in the afternoon. They a 7km neutralised zone to navigate before the start proper.

The 30 sectors of pavé

  • 30 : Troisvilles to Inchy (km 96,3 – 2,2 km) ***
  • 29 : Viesly to Quiévy (km 102,8 – 1,8 km) ***
  • 28 : Quiévy to Saint-Python (km 105,4 – 3,7 km) ****
  • 27 : Saint-Python (km 110,1 - 1,5 km) **
  • 26 : Haussy to Saint-Martin-sur-Écaillon (km 116,6 - 0,8 km) **
  • 25 : Saint-Martin-sur-Ecaillon to Vertain (km 120,9 - 2,3 km) ***
  • 24 : Capelle to Ruesnes (km 127,3 - 1,7 km) ***
  • 23 : Artres to Quérénaing (km 136,3 - 1,3 km) **
  • 22 : Quérénaing to Maing (km 138,1 - 2,5 km) ***
  • 21 : Maing to Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 141,2 - 1,6 km) ***
  • 20 : Haveluy to Wallers (km 154,2 - 2,5 km) ****
  • 19 : Trouée d'Arenberg (km 162,4 - 2,3 km) *****
  • 18 : Wallers to Hélesmes (km 168,4 - 1,6 km) ***
  • 17 : Hornaing to Wandignies (km 175,2 - 3,7 km) ****
  • 16 : Warlaing to Brillon (km 182,7 - 2,4 km) ***
  • 15 : Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières (km 186,2 - 2,4 km) ****
  • 14 : Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies (km 192,5 - 1,4 km) ***
  • 13 : Orchies (km 197,5 - 1,7 km) ***
  • 12 : Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée (km 203,6 - 2,7 km) ****
  • 11 : Mons-en-Pévèle (km 209,1 - 3 km) *****
  • 10 : Mérignies to Avelin (km 215,1 - 0,7 km) **
  • 9 : Pont-Thibault to Ennevelin (km 218,5 - 1,4 km) ***
  • 8 : Templeuve - L'Epinette (km 223,9 - 0,2 km) *
  • 8 : Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain (km 224,4 - 0,5 km) **
  • 7 : Cysoing to Bourghelles (km 230,8 - 1,3 km) ***
  • 6 : Bourghelles to Wannehain (km 233,3 - 1,1 km) ***
  • 5 : Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 237,8 - 1,8 km) ****
  • 4 : Carrefour de l'Arbre (km 240,5 - 2,1 km) *****
  • 3 : Gruson (km 242,8 - 1,1 km) **
  • 2 : Willems to Hem (km 249,5 - 1,4 km) ***
  • 1 : Roubaix - Espace Charles Crupelandt (km 256,3 - 0,3 km) *


Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka) is the first rider to attack but he isn't given much leeway.

The day's first crash also takes place at the rear of the peloton, with Jonas Vangenechten (B&B Hotels) going down with an EF-Nippo rider. Both men are quickly back on their feet, but that is a pretty dispiriting way to start a race as demanding as this...

Mitch Docker was the EF rider to hit the ground in what is set to be the final race of his career.


Matteo Trentin and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) have opened a small gap over the peloton, but they will want some company if their raid is to establish itself as the day's early break.



Deceuninck-QuickStep have dispatched Davide Ballerini to try to forge across to this early break, which has prompted a reaction from the peloton. 15 seconds the gap to Trentin, Kanter and Theuns. 




Ludovic Robeet (Bingoal-WB) is alone between the break and the peloton, but closing the gap by himself will not be easy. The Belgian was an impressive winner of Nokere Koerse this spring. 


Theuns and Kanter are stretching their advantage but there is still plenty of activity at the head of the peloton, with Movistar and Deceuninck-QuickStep both seemingly keen to place a man in the early move if at all possible.

Those accelerations are stretching out the peloton and cutting into Theuns and Kanter's advantage, which has been pared back to 14 seconds. Tim Declercq is very active for Deceuninck-QuickStep at the head of the bunch.


The driving rain has reduced visibility but when Theuns and Kanter look over their shoulders, they can clearly see the peloton bearing down upon them. Yet still they remain committed to their effort and the gap stays steady at 12 seconds for the time being.








Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroen) is also up there. It looks as though the peloton should bring them back before the gap calcifies, but it's not a given either. There are plenty of strongmen in the front group and they seem keen to force the bunch to work to bring them back at the very least.

This front group of 30 riders or so has a lead of 15 seconds over the peloton.

Some of the riders in front include Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R), Tim Declercq, Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Luke Rowe (Ineos) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix). Jumbo-Visma also have a representative up here, which begs the question - who will lead the chase? 



Bora-Hansgrohe have Daniel Oss in this front group, but Peter Sagan is their leader, and so they are leading the chase in the peloton, a minute down on the 27 leaders.


A group of almost 30 riders can often be unwieldy but the leaders are combining well for the time being. Astana missed the move altogether, and they have joined Bora is leading the pursuit in the peloton. 

A puncture for Owain Doull forces him out of the break and back to the peloton. Meanwhile, Stefan Küng has crashed while leading the break into a roundabout. He was the only rider to go down from the break, though Jordie Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) crashed at the same point in the bunch.

Küng remounted but the Swiss rider looks set to be caught by the peloton. 


Küng hasn't sat up and waited for the bunch. The Swiss rider is instead ploughing a lone furrow just ahead of the peloton. He should be brought back soon, mind, and that will leave Groupama-FDJ without representation in front. That, in turn, might see Marc Madiot's team join Bora and Astana in riding at the head of the bunch.



A couple of names were missing from the original list of escapees. Lotto Soudal have three men up here and Marco Haller is also present for Bahrain Victorious. The current group in full is: Florian Vermeersch, Harry Sweeny, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Davide Ballerini, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Edoardo Affini, Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma), Tom Van Asbroeck (Israel Start-Up Nation), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), Toms Skuijns (Trek-Segafredo), Fred Wright, Marco Haller (Bahrain Victorious), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen), Stefan Bissegger (EF-Nippo), Andre Carvalho (Cofidis), Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe (Ineos), Florian Maitre (TotalEnergies), Luke Durbridge, Robert Stannard (BikeExchange), Evaldas Esiskevicius (Delko), Niks Eeekhoof (DSM), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka), Imanol Erviti, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels-KTM).






10km to the cobbles at Troisvilles and the tension is palpable in the peloton, with riders scrambling for position at the front.


A puncture in the break for Marco Haller just ahead of the first sector of cobbles. The Austrian is riding on the rim for the time being, hoping his team car can get up to provide a rapid bike change before he hits Troisvilles.

No team car for Haller, who has to stop and get a wheel change from the neutral car. That takes a little longer, even if the mechanic did it pretty swiftly, but Haller will struggle to get back on. Wright tries to slow the move on his behalf, but it won't be easy.





Luke Rowe and Gianni Moscon lead the break through this first sector. The bunch has also reached the cobbles at Troisvilles. For many, this will be the point to abandon all hope...

Van Avermaet is at the rear of the break, the Belgian taking a cautious approach through the first sector of cobbles, which is quite treacherous. The peloton, meanwhile, is strung out in a long line.


The peloton, meanwhile, was splintered into at least three groups by that opening sector of cobbles. One down, 29 to go. This will be a race of elimination...

Matteo Trentin is among the riders caught on the wrong side of the split in the peloton but he might get back on if the pace relents a notch after that first, thunderous passage over the cobbles.

The break hits sector 29 at Viesly with a lead of 2:08 on the peloton.

The break is splintering still further on this second sector, with Tim Declercq among those who risk being left behind. It appears as though the Belgian has a puncture...











Sagan is pedalling quite gingerly, and it's not clear if he will be able to make his way back up to the group of favourites. 

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), meanwhile, hits the front of the reduced peloton on sector 25 and strings things out once again.

Luke Rowe (Ineos) has correctly deduced that the safest place to be in this race is on the front. The Welshman leads through sector 25 and opens a small gap over his three breakaway companions.

Back in the main peloton, Stefan Küng falls for the third time. The Swiss rider has done well to chase back after his second crash but this might be the end of his race as he waits a long, long time for a replacement bike. 

Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is also on the roadside waiting for a new bike and this could torpedo his challenge to boot.


Rowe has been rejoined by Walscheid, Eekhoff and Vermeersch after sector 25. The Welshman is pedalling smoothly and now he is trying to marshal this four-man move to collaborate with him. 

Luke Rowe (Ineos), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) and Nils Eekhoff (DSM) have stretched their lead over the rest of the earlyh break to 31 seconds as they enter sector 24, which is 1.7km in length and rated three stars. The peloton is at 2:35. 

Peter Sagan is still in the race but he is not pedalling fluidly and he appears to be 4:28 down on the leaders and almost two minutes down on the group of favourites. 

Max Walscheid crashes out of the front group on sector 24, and it appears that Luke Rowe had already lost contact, though our television pictures did not show precisely what fate befell the Welshman. Vermeersch and Eekhoff remain in front, 54 seconds clear of what now appears to be a completely fragmented chasing group. And the peloton, such as it is, is now 2:47 back. Word has been reaching us that both Van Aert and Van der Poel have been trying to escape the peloton, but the television cameras have yet to pick that up.

Now we see the 'peloton' which is the third group on the road, composed of 12 riders or so. Wout van Aert, Florian Senechal and Kasper Asgreen are in there, but another dozen or so riders are about to make contact with them. 

John Degenkolb (Lotto Soudal) was among the riders trying to catch the Van Aert group, but the German's wheels slip from under him. He gets back to his feet but he has bike issues and that has stopped him on the side of the road on sector 24.



Florian Vermeersch is a Paris-Roubaix debutant, but he has an aptitude for this kind of fare, writes our man in Roubaix Brecht Decaluwé. He has the body to go well over the cobbles: 193cm & 85kg, according to Sporza. He rode cyclo-cross in the junior category, battling it often out with men like Thomas Pidcock and Ben Turner.


Nils Eekhoff, so controversially disqualified from the under-23 Worlds road race two years, is also making his Paris-Roubaix debut. The two neophytes at the head of the race have raced with considerable poise thus far in the most trying of conditions. Van Aert, Van der Poel et al will hope that they don't have the endurace to cope with that additional hour of racing in the finale of a Monument. 

Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) leads the peloton onto sector 23. Peloton is perhaps a generous description of this group, which also includes his teammates Asgreen and Zdenek Stybar, plus the big favourites Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. They are 2:50 down on the two young leaders. 

The leaders are on sector 22, as is the chasing group, which trails by 56 seconds. The peloton, meanwhile, is at 2:56.

Some of the names to note in this peloton, which perhaps 30 riders, include Van Aert, Van der Poel, Colbrelli, Mohoric, Stybar, Senechal, Asgreen and Kwiatkowski. 

The stars in that group are a little bereft of water carriers, however, and that might explain why their deficit is stretching out towards 2:55. At the back of the peloton, meanwhile, it looks as though Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) has worn out his brakes, and he has to use his foot to slow down...


Wout van Aert takes matters in hand in the peloton. The Belgian champion stretches things out on sector 22, with Kwiatkowski on his wheel. Affini, who dropped back from the break, is in third wheel, with Van der Poel fourth, and this surge has split the peloton...

We haven't seen th