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Paris-Roubaix: Dylan van Baarle soloes to victory at record speed

Ineos Grenadiers wins its first Paris-Roubaix after Dutchman attacks late to distance elite group.

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Second in the Tour of Flanders a fortnight ago, Dylan van Baarle went one better at Paris-Roubaix, breaking clear 18km from home and soloing to a clear victory on Roubaix’s famous velodrome to give his British Team Ineos Grenadiers its first win in the “Hell of the North”, achieving that feat at a new record average speed for the race of 45.792kph.

Almost two minutes after van Baarle had crossed the line, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the sprint for second place ahead of Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), with long breakaway riders Tom Devriendt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) just behind in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

“It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t believe when I came into the velodrome. I was completely alone. When the DS car came next to me, and then I started to believe in it. It’s been crazy,” van Baarle said in his post-race interview. “It’s a monument, and of course I want to win a monument. To be second in Flanders and winning Roubaix, I am at a loss for words.”

The 29-year-old Dutchman’s success was the culmination a very aggressive performance from the seven Ineos Grenadiers riders. In a wholly unexpected move in the very first hour of the race, they all gathered at the front of the peloton, where Bahrain, TotalEnergies and EF Education-Easy Post were also prominent. As a crosswind gusted, they split the bunch apart.

Ineos Grenadiers splits the race early

Wout van Aert was on the back foot all day, yet still managed second. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

For more than 100km, Ineos were able to keep most of their key men at the front, while the other favorites had use teammates and their own resources to chase the down. There were casualties in that second group too, Trek-Segafredo leader Mads Pedersen among the most notable of them, his chances of success ended by a heavy crash soon followed by a mechanical setback.

As the two main groups were coming back together, five riders went off the front: Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Casper Pedersen (Team DSM), Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic), plus Devriendt and Mohorič. The latter trio were the three constants, opening up a two-minutes advantage of their pursuers, Bahrain’s Milan-Sanremo winner Mohorič clearly the strongest of them.

As the chasers eventually began to close, the breakaway’s chances of staying clear were scuppered when the Slovenian punctured and had to change bikes coming out of cobbled sector nine, with 32km remaining. That left the visibly fading Devriendt alone at the front, with a group 10 riders not far off his heels that included Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), van Aert, Küng, van Baarle and his once again astonishing young teammate Ben Turner, Lampaert and Mohorič.

After a number of thwarted attacks, Lampaert and Mohoric bridged up to Devriendt, van Baarle battling up on his own to join them soon after. The Dutchman then made the most of the energy he’d saved during the first half of the race with an attack on the Camphin-en-Pévèle sector of cobbles with 18km remaining. Impressively smooth on the pavé throughout, he surged clear of Mohorič, Devriendt and Lampaert.

Although his former companions were reeled in, Lampaert after he’d been knocked spectacularly from his bike by a clapping fan who appeared to clip his bars, van Baarle was already out of range and
heading to victory.

The Ineos rider said that his team’s early move in the wind hadn’t been planned but was just a case of opportunism.

“We were from the gun super focused, and that’s what we wanted,” van Baarle said. “We didn’t want to chase. We wanted to be on the front foot. From that moment, I knew that we would have a good chance, because we spent less energy than anyone else. We were a bit unlucky with punctures, but we just kept calm.”

He explained that the team’s plan then had been to make the race hard before the second feed zone, which came with 68km remaining, and last week’s Amstel Gold Race winner Michał Kwiatkowski was particularly prominent at this point.

“Kwiato said he would ride for me. It gave me so much confidence. It’s been a great spring classic season so far. We can enjoy this,” said van Baarle. “We’ve worked so hard for it. The last couple of years we had some bad luck. Everything is going in the right direction and the whole team is lifting on the back of that.”

Mathieu van der Poel didn’t have the legs to follow

Mathieu van der Poel couldn’t follow the late accelerations to finish ninth. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

For runner-up van Aert, whose participation at Roubaix was in doubt almost to the last moment after a recent Covid infection, the result offered confirmation that he had been right to start the race

“It’s an amazing feeling, but coming after sickness like this it’s a huge achievement and I’m proud. I’m glad I kept the faith and kept racing,” he said. “It was a classic Paris-Roubaix. From the first cobbles, the chaos started, and everyone has their bit of bad luck. Everyone has to stay calm and that’s the beauty of the race. I stayed calm and I got support from some guys who dropped back from my team and this was how I was able to reach the podium in the end,” the Belgian champion explained.

“I knew van Baarle was one of the most dangerous guys. When he goes, he’s not going to slow down. I felt I missed out on the right move there. Once and me and Stefan Küng distanced the others, the real race started, but there was no chance anymore. I think the strongest man won today.”

An elite group separated itself coming off some key sectors, and made the definitive selection with about 50km to go. Joining Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious and van Aert were Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Adrien Petit (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic), and van Baarle and Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers).

With about 30km to go, Lampaert jumped, and drew out Mohorič and van Baarle. They linked up with Devriendt to lead the chasers by 35 seconds with 25km to go going into sector 6.

Stuyven jumped with 23km to go to draw out van Aert and Küng, gapping van der Poel at a key point of the race. Unfortunately for Stuyven, he punctured with 20km to go just ahead of Camphin-en-Pevele.

Van Baarle surged out of the front group, gapping out Devriendt, with Lampaert and Mohorič chasing hard. Behind them, Küng and van Aert chased 28 seconds in arrears.

Van Baarle hit the Carrefour de l’Arbre nursing a widening lead to Lampaert and Mohorič. From there, it was a drag race to the line.

After a frenetic first half, and elite group pulled clear with 50km to go. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Paris-Roubaix Results

Stage
RankNameTeamTime
1VAN BAARLE DylanINEOS Grenadiers5:37:00
2VAN AERT WoutJumbo-Visma1:47
3KÜNG StefanGroupama - FDJ1:47
4DEVRIENDT TomIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:47
5MOHORIČ MatejBahrain - Victorious1:47
6PETIT AdrienIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:27
7STUYVEN JasperTrek - Segafredo2:27
8PICHON LaurentTeam Arkéa Samsic2:27
9VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix2:34
10LAMPAERT YvesQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2:59
11TURNER BenINEOS Grenadiers4:30
12KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:33
13SÉNÉCHAL FlorianQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team4:36
14MEEUS JordiBORA - hansgrohe4:47
15LOUVEL MatisTeam Arkéa Samsic4:47
16VAN DER HOORN TacoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:47
17VAN AVERMAET GregAG2R Citroën Team4:47
18DEGENKOLB JohnTeam DSM4:47
19PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:47
20TEUNISSEN MikeJumbo-Visma4:47
21BISSEGGER StefanEF Education-EasyPost4:47
22POLITT NilsBORA - hansgrohe4:47
23PLANCKAERT BaptisteIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:47
24VAN GESTEL DriesTotalEnergies4:47
25GARCÍA CORTINA IvánMovistar Team4:47
26VAN KEIRSBULCK GuillaumeAlpecin-Fenix4:47
27SKAARSETH AndersUno-X Pro Cycling Team4:47
28LE GAC OlivierGroupama - FDJ4:47
29NORSGAARD MathiasMovistar Team4:47
30GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal4:47
31SWIFT ConnorTeam Arkéa Samsic4:47
32ROBEET LudovicBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB4:47
33VANHOOF WardSport Vlaanderen - Baloise4:47
34MADOUAS ValentinGroupama - FDJ4:47
35GANNA FilippoINEOS Grenadiers4:47
36BIERMANS JentheIsrael - Premier Tech6:58
37VAN HOOYDONCK NathanJumbo-Visma6:58
38BOASSON HAGEN EdvaldTotalEnergies7:00
39NIEUWENHUIS JorisTeam DSM7:00
40MERLIER TimAlpecin-Fenix7:02
41BALLERINI DavideQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team11:38
42ASKEY LewisGroupama - FDJ11:51
43TRENTIN MatteoUAE Team Emirates12:35
44ASGREEN KasperQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team12:35
45ŠTYBAR ZdeněkQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team12:35
46ANIOŁKOWSKI StanisławBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB12:35
47DURBRIDGE LukeTeam BikeExchange - Jayco12:35
48KANTER MaxMovistar Team12:35
49LANGEVELD SebastianEF Education-EasyPost12:35
50TERPSTRA NikiTotalEnergies12:35
51ARNDT NikiasTeam DSM14:48
52DOULL OwainEF Education-EasyPost15:16
53MORICE JulienB&B Hotels - KTM15:16
54NAESEN OliverAG2R Citroën Team15:16
55LAZKANO OierMovistar Team15:16
56VAN MELSEN KévinIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux15:16
57STEIMLE JannikQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team15:16
58VERMEERSCH GianniAlpecin-Fenix15:16
59BEULLENS CedricLotto Soudal15:28
60KLUGE RogerLotto Soudal15:28
61VAN MOER BrentLotto Soudal15:28
62BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael - Premier Tech15:28
63DILLIER SilvanAlpecin-Fenix15:28
64REYNDERS JensSport Vlaanderen - Baloise15:28
65RENARD AlexisCofidis15:28
66LEMOINE CyrilB&B Hotels - KTM15:28
67FINÉ EddyCofidis15:28
68LEYSEN SenneAlpecin-Fenix15:28
69RESELL Erik NordsæterUno-X Pro Cycling Team15:28
70DELETTRE AlexandreCofidis15:28
71LAENGEN Vegard StakeUAE Team Emirates15:28
72OSS DanielTotalEnergies15:28
73WELTEN BramGroupama - FDJ15:28
74RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost15:28
75ALLEGAERT PietCofidis15:28
76SÜTTERLIN JashaBahrain - Victorious15:34
77KWIATKOWSKI MichałINEOS Grenadiers15:34
78KEUKELEIRE JensEF Education-EasyPost15:43
79LAUK Karl PatrickBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB17:27
80DECLERCQ BenjaminTeam Arkéa Samsic17:27
81HOLLENSTEIN RetoIsrael - Premier Tech17:27
82AFFINI EdoardoJumbo-Visma17:27
83MOZZATO LucaB&B Hotels - KTM17:27
84PEDERSEN CasperTeam DSM17:27
85KOCH JonasBORA - hansgrohe17:27
86BAUER JackTeam BikeExchange - Jayco17:27
87BODNAR MaciejTotalEnergies17:27
88DE PESTEL SanderSport Vlaanderen - Baloise17:30
89LIVYNS ArjenBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB20:11
90BARBIER RudyIsrael - Premier Tech24:44
91BARBIER PierreB&B Hotels - KTM24:44
92MENTEN MilanBingoal Pauwels Sauces WB24:44
93HANSEN Lasse NormanUno-X Pro Cycling Team24:44
94WURF CameronINEOS Grenadiers24:44
95RAUGEL AntoineAG2R Citroën Team24:44
96WIŚNIOWSKI ŁukaszEF Education-EasyPost24:44
97BOARO ManueleAstana Qazaqstan Team24:44
98VAN HOECKE GijsAG2R Citroën Team24:44
99WRIGHT FredBahrain - Victorious24:44
100FEDOROV YevgeniyAstana Qazaqstan Team24:44
101GRUZDEV DmitriyAstana Qazaqstan Team24:44
102ROWE LukeINEOS Grenadiers24:44
103ROOSEN TimoJumbo-Visma24:44
104VAN DIJKE MickJumbo-Visma24:44
105BALMER AlexandreTeam BikeExchange - Jayco24:44
106MOLANO Juan SebastiánUAE Team Emirates24:44
107SAJNOK SzymonCofidis26:44

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.