Paris-Roubaix 2024 – Analysing the contenders

Christophe la Porte, Mathieu van der Poel and Mads Pedersen
Christophe la Porte, Mathieu van der Poel and Mads Pedersen (Image credit: Getty Images)

There is one clear favourite for Paris-Roubaix men's race in 2024, Mathieu van der Poel. But that doesn't for a second mean that his rivals won't do everything in their power to unseat the defending champion so they can heave the coveted cobblestone trophy above their head in celebration.

The World Champion may be carrying the most impressive of form into the second Monument of the season, having just taken his third win at Tour of Flanders. But if the long history of Paris-Roubaix has taught us anything it is that the fickle cobbles of northern France have little regard for expectations. The Hell of the North can be brutally unpredictable and even the best prepared on the day can walk away empty-handed as there is one essential ingredient in the race that no preparation can alter: luck.

Visma-Lease a Bike have had little of that luck on the run toward the race, leaving Van der Poel without his regular rival of Wout van Aert. Still, Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) had challenged the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider's dominance at Gent-Wevelgem and may perhaps be well enough recovered from his Dwars door Vlaanderen crash to do so again on Sunday April 7. Visma-Lease a Bike will also not be folding their hand just because they can't play Van Aert as a card, while plenty of other teams will be lining up to try and capture that prestigious win which in an instant can make a season, and a career, a success.

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