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Paris-Roubaix: Van Avermaet sprints to victory in velodrome finish

ROUBAIX, France (AFP) – A week after finishing second to fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert at Tour of Flanders, Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet overcame a mid-race mechanicals to claim his first ‘Monument’ race in a dramatic sprint victory at the 115th edition of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Belgian outsprinted Czech Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) in the iconic outdoor Roubaix velodrome at the end of the 257km long ‘Hell of the North’ cobbled classic. With an average speed of 45.204 kph, this year’s race was the fastest of all time – beating Peter Post’s record of 45.131 kph set in 1964.

Sebastian Langeveld took third place in a sprint finish between five riders in the velodrome while last year’s winner Mathew Hayman (Orica-Scott) came home in 11th.

The win marks the BMC rider’s fourth triumph on the cobbles of 2017, which also includes Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem.

Top 10

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING, in 5:41:07
  • 2. Zdenek STYBAR, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 3. Sebastian LANGEVELD, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at :00
  • 4. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 5. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 6. Arnaud DÉMARE, FDJ, at :12
  • 7. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :12
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :12
  • 9. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :12
  • 10. John DEGENKOLB, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :12

Four times Van Avermaet has finished in the top four at the ‘Monument’ Tour of Flanders, including taking second place last weekend despite a late crash.

He was third in Roubaix two years ago – Stybar beat him into second behind John Degenkolb in another sprint finish – and was fourth in 2013.

But on the back of the greatest period of his career, Van Avermaet is now a Monument winner.

“I feel very good. I suffered a lot, but when you win, you forget everything,” said van Avermaet. “It was quite hard, Stybar was not working with us.

“I was just really strong at the end and really believing in my chances. I’m just really happy I was able to finish it in the end.”

However, it was a disappointing end to the glorious career of 36-year-old Belgian Tom Boonen – the joint record four-time winner in Roubaix – who could manage only 13th after missing out on the crucial break in the final 30km of his final race.

“It’s really a pity because he’s an exceptional rider, also an exceptional person and an exceptional friend,” said Boonen’s Quick Step teammate Stybar, who only started riding for himself rather than his team leader in the final 10km.

“It’s a pity we couldn’t bring him to first place but we did our best.

“We did what we could and it’s a pity he’s ending his career now.”

Several breaks tried to get away throughout the day in beautiful warm, spring sunshine but none could ever get very far down the road.

Early crashes affected some of the favourites as well, including 2014 winner Niki Terpstra, who abandoned after hitting the deck.

Van Avermaet had two mechanical issues just over 100km from the finish but joined back with the lead group without incident. It was his BMC teammate Daniel Oss who finally made a clear break, initially with company and finally alone.

He then proved a help to van Avermaet when joined by a six-man group that had gone clear of the rest around 32km from the finish when world champion Peter Sagan suffered a puncture that ruined his chances.

The lead group managed to get a 40-second gap to chasers including Boonen and 2015 winner Degenkolb.

But the decisive break had been made and on the Carrefour de l’Arbre cobbled section – one of 29 covering a total of 55km – van Avermaet, Stybar and Langeveld went clear.

They were caught by Jasper Stuyven and Gianni Moscon in the velodrome as they played a risky game of cat and mouse.

Moscon launched the first sprint for home but Stybar easily came past him before Van Avermaet proved he had the strongest sprint.

For former cyclo-cross world champion Stybar it was a second disappointment in Roubaix having also come second to Degenkolb in 2015 and he beat his handlebars in frustration as he crossed the line.

“Before the start of the race, I did not have in my mind to win,” admitted Stybar. “It was only in the last 4km that they told me to go for it.

“I did all that I could in the sprint,” he continued. “The race was very fast from kilometer zero, and my only hope was that Greg would be a bit tired, but the Roubaix sprint is very strong.”

Results

  • 1. Greg VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING, in 5:41:07
  • 2. Zdenek ŠTYBAR, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :00
  • 3. Sebastian LANGEVELD, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at :00
  • 4. Jasper STUYVEN, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :00
  • 5. Gianni MOSCON, TEAM SKY, at :00
  • 6. Arnaud DEMARE, FDJ, at :12
  • 7. André GREIPEL, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :12
  • 8. Edward THEUNS, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :12
  • 9. Adrien PETIT, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :12
  • 10. John DEGENKOLB, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at :12
  • 11. Mathew HAYMAN, ORICA-SCOTT, at :12
  • 12. Florian SENECHAL, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :12
  • 13. Tom BOONEN, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at :12
  • 14. Yoann OFFREDO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at :12
  • 15. Laurens DE VREESE, ASTANA, at :12
  • 16. Marcus BURGHARDT, BORA-HANSGROHE, at :12
  • 17. Piet ALLEGAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at :12
  • 18. Nikolas MAES, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :12
  • 19. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :12
  • 20. Dylan VAN BAARLE, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at :12
  • 21. Daniel OSS, BMC RACING, at :12
  • 22. Jurgen ROELANDTS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :20
  • 23. Jelle WALLAYS, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :26
  • 24. Marcel SIEBERG, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :36
  • 25. Ramon SINKELDAM, TEAM SUNWEB, at 2:24
  • 26. Marco MARCATO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 2:24
  • 27. Nils POLITT, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 2:24
  • 28. Jonas VAN GENECHTEN, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:24
  • 29. Koen DE KORT, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 2:24
  • 30. Bert VAN LERBERGHE, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 2:24
  • 31. Oliver NAESEN, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 2:24
  • 32. Bert DE BACKER, TEAM SUNWEB, at 2:24
  • 33. Jos VAN EMDEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 2:24
  • 34. Dimitri CLAEYS, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 2:24
  • 35. Stijn VANDENBERGH, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 3:01
  • 36. Bernhard EISEL, DIMENSION DATA, at 3:30
  • 37. Pieter VANSPEYBROUCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 3:45
  • 38. Peter SAGAN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 5:12
  • 39. Christophe LAPORTE, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 5:44
  • 40. Jasha SÜTTERLIN, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 7:12
  • 41. Daniele BENNATI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 9:41
  • 42. Wouter WIPPERT, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 9:41
  • 43. Mickael DELAGE, FDJ, at 9:41
  • 44. Iljo KEISSE, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 9:41
  • 45. Matthieu LADAGNOUS, FDJ, at 9:41
  • 46. Mads Würtz SCHMIDT, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 9:41
  • 47. Dylan GROENEWEGEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 9:41
  • 48. Reto HOLLENSTEIN, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 9:41
  • 49. Mike TEUNISSEN, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:41
  • 50. Ryan MULLEN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 9:41
  • 51. Boy VAN POPPEL, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 9:41
  • 52. Pim LIGTHART, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 9:41
  • 53. Scott THWAITES, DIMENSION DATA, at 9:41
  • 54. Lars Ytting BAK, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:41
  • 55. PIERRE LUC PERICHON, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:41
  • 56. Miles SCOTSON, BMC RACING, at 9:41
  • 57. Maxime FARAZIJN, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 9:41
  • 58. Olivier LE GAC, FDJ, at 9:41
  • 59. Christian KNEES, TEAM SKY, at 9:41
  • 60. Jorge ARCAS PEÑA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 9:41
  • 61. Imanol ERVITI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 9:41
  • 62. Gregory RAST, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 9:41
  • 63. Hugo HOULE, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 9:41
  • 64. Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, DIMENSION DATA, at 9:41
  • 65. Tom SCULLY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 9:41
  • 66. Alex DOWSETT, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 9:41
  • 67. Luka MEZGEC, ORICA-SCOTT, at 9:41
  • 68. Dmitriy GRUZDEV, ASTANA, at 9:41
  • 69. Preben VAN HECKE, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 9:41
  • 70. William CLARKE, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 9:41
  • 71. Nikias ARNDT, TEAM SUNWEB, at 9:41
  • 72. Ian STANNARD, TEAM SKY, at 9:41
  • 73. Manuel QUINZIATO, BMC RACING, at 9:41
  • 74. Jean-Pierre DRUCKER, BMC RACING, at 9:41
  • 75. Maciej BODNAR, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 9:41
  • 76. Tony MARTIN, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 9:41
  • 77. Andreas SCHILLINGER, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 9:48
  • 78. Jens DEBUSSCHERE, LOTTO SOUDAL, at 9:53
  • 79. Edward PLANCKAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 9:55
  • 80. Wesley KREDER, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT, at 9:55
  • 81. Francis MOUREY, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 9:55
  • 82. Yves LAMPAERT, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 9:55
  • 83. Jens KEUKELEIRE, ORICA-SCOTT, at 14:06
  • 84. Marc SARREAU, FDJ, at 14:06
  • 85. Juraj SAGAN, BORA-HANSGROHE, at 18:28
  • 86. Franck BONNAMOUR, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 18:28
  • 87. Marco HALLER, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 18:28
  • 88. Matteo TRENTIN, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 18:28
  • 89. NICCOLO’ BONIFAZIO, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 18:28
  • 90. Alexander EDMONSON, ORICA-SCOTT, at 20:44
  • 91. Mitch DOCKER, ORICA-SCOTT, at 20:44
  • 92. Truls KORSÆTH, ASTANA, at 20:44
  • 93. David PER, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 20:44
  • 94. Amund Grondahl JANSEN, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 20:44
  • 95. Mads PEDERSEN, TREK-SEGAFREDO, at 20:44
  • 96. Jenthe BIERMANS, KATUSHA-ALPECIN, at 20:44
  • 97. Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG, DIMENSION DATA, at 20:44
  • 98. Julien VERMOTE, QUICK-STEP FLOORS, at 20:44
  • 99. Matti BRESCHEL, ASTANA, at 20:44
  • 100. Boris VALLEE, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 20:44
  • 101. Luka PIBERNIK, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 20:50
  • 102. Jay Robert THOMSON, DIMENSION DATA, at 27:12
  • 103. Berden DE VRIES, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 30:49
  • 104. Jonas RICKAERT, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE, at 30:49
  • 105. Ion Ander INSAUSTI IRASTORZA, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 30:49
  • 106. Tyler FARRAR, DIMENSION DATA, at 30:49
  • 107. Patrick BEVIN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC, at 32:06
  • 108. Borut BOZIC, BAHRAIN-MERIDA, at 32:19
  • 109. Owain DOULL, TEAM SKY, at 33:44
  • 110. Alexis GOUGEARD, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 33:44
  • 111. Benoit JARRIER, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 33:44
  • 112. Erwann CORBEL, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 33:44
  • 113. Maarten WYNANTS, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 34:01
  • 114. Loic CHETOUT, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 34:17
  • 115. Daniel MCLAY, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT, at 34:28
  • 116. Twan CASTELIJNS, LOTTONL-JUMBO, at 34:30
  • 117. Brian VAN GOETHEM, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 38:49
  • 118. Romain CARDIS, DIRECT ENERGIE, at 38:49
  • 119. Taco VAN DER HOORN, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, at 38:49
  • 120. Zhandos BIZHIGITOV, ASTANA, at 45:19
  • 121. Jonathan DIEBBEN, TEAM SKY, at 46:45
  • DNF Sam BEWLEY, ORICA-SCOTT
  • DNF Luke DURBRIDGE, ORICA-SCOTT
  • DNF Magnus Cort NIELSEN, ORICA-SCOTT
  • DNF Tim DECLERCQ, QUICK-STEP FLOORS
  • DNF Niki TERPSTRA, QUICK-STEP FLOORS
  • DNF Luke ROWE, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Elia VIVIANI, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Lukasz WISNIOWSKI, TEAM SKY
  • DNF Tom VAN ASBROECK, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC
  • DNF Nick DOUGALL, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Ryan GIBBONS, DIMENSION DATA
  • DNF Tony GALLOPIN, LOTTO SOUDAL
  • DNF Matthias BRÄNDLE, TREK-SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Michal KOLÁR, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Aleksejs SARAMOTINS, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Rüdiger SELIG, BORA-HANSGROHE
  • DNF Martin ELMIGER, BMC RACING
  • DNF Stefan KÜNG, BMC RACING
  • DNF Francisco Jose VENTOSO ALBERDI, BMC RACING
  • DNF Lars BOOM, LOTTONL-JUMBO
  • DNF Gijs VAN HOECKE, LOTTONL-JUMBO
  • DNF Robert Thomas WAGNER, LOTTONL-JUMBO
  • DNF Nuno MATOS, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Héctor CARRETERO, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Nelson OLIVEIRA, MOVISTAR TEAM
  • DNF Jacopo GUARNIERI, FDJ
  • DNF Daniel HOELGAARD, FDJ
  • DNF Ignatas KONOVALOVAS, FDJ
  • DNF Antoine DUCHESNE, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Yohann GENE, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Tony HUREL, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Julien MORICE, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Alexandre PICHOT, DIRECT ENERGIE
  • DNF Gediminas BAGDONAS, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Rudy BARBIER, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Nico DENZ, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Julien DUVAL, AG2R LA MONDIALE
  • DNF Søren Kragh ANDERSEN, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Tom STAMSNIJDER, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Zico WAEYTENS, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Albert TIMMER, TEAM SUNWEB
  • DNF Alexander KRISTOFF, KATUSHA-ALPECIN
  • DNF Michael MORKOV, KATUSHA-ALPECIN
  • DNF Hugo Hofstetter, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Cyril LEMOINE, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Kenneth VANBILSEN, COFIDIS-SOLUTIONS CREDITS
  • DNF Benjamin DECLERCQ, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Stijn STEELS, SPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE
  • DNF Arman KAMYSHEV, ASTANA
  • DNF Riccardo MINALI, ASTANA
  • DNF Ruslan TLEUBAYEV, ASTANA
  • DNF Frederik BACKAERT, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Mark MCNALLY, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Frederik VEUCHELEN, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Danilo NAPOLITANO, WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT
  • DNF Maxime DANIEL, FORTUNEO-VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Jesper ASSELMAN, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Andre LOOIJ, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Elmar REINDERS, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Coen VERMELTFOORT, ROOMPOT-NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ
  • DNF Ivan GARCIA CORTINA, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF Meiyin WANG, BAHRAIN-MERIDA
  • DNF Sacha MODOLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Matteo BONO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Roberto FERRARI, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Andrea GUARDINI, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Marko KUMP, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Oliviero TROIA, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Federico ZURLO, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
  • DNF Yannick MARTINEZ, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Mikel ARISTI GARDOKI, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Benjamin GIRAUD, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Martin LAAS, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Romain LEMARCHAND, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Evaldas SISKEVICIUS, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM
  • DNF Gatis SMUKULIS, DELKO-MARSEILLE PROVENCE KTM

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