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Live ticker Paris-Roubaix: Sonny Colbrelli wins in three-up sprint

Check here throughout the race for updates of key moments in the 118th edition of the 'Hell of the North'

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ROUBAIX, France (VN) – Welcome to Paris-Roubaix day. Here’s the latest action from the race:

Sonny Colbrelli wins Paris-Roubaix.

Vermeersch and Van der Poel round out the podium.

Heading toward the velodrome. The threesome hits the final of the 30 sectors.

The bell rings — who will win?

3km to go — Vermeersch makes a move

Colbrelli shuts it down.

4km to go — Who will win out of these three?

The leading trio are heading toward the velodrome.

The last feed among the three leaders.

Moscon isn’t coming back. Van Aert and Co. won’t be able to make it.

Who has the best kick? Who has a bit of experience in a velodrome?

Van der Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch are all Paris-Roubaix rookies.

Italian Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain Victorious and Dutch Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix pictured in action during the men elite race of the 'Paris-Roubaix' cycling event, 257,7km from Compiegne to Roubaix, France on Sunday 03 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN (Photo by DAVID STOCKMAN/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
Sonny Colbrelli and Mathieu Van der Poel raced to the finish. (Photo: AVID STOCKMAN/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

9km to go — Three off the front

Van der Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch are off the front with less than 10km to go.

Moscon was gapped at 30 seconds, while the Van Aert group was dangling at one minute back.

The three riders at the front are participating in Paris-Roubaix for the first time.

Only two riders have won the race as debutant: Josef Fischer in the inaugural edition and Jean Forestier in 1955.

It looks like the winner will come from the leading trio — who will it be?

17km to go — Colbrelli surges on Carrefour de l’Arbre

Gianni Moscon leads onto one of the hardest sectors of the entire race, and struggled to pace across the muddy sectors as van der Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch are following.

Moscon finally succumbs.

After hiding in the bunch, Colbrelli swung around Moscon and punched the accelerator.

Van der Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch now gap Moscon.

What a race!

22km to go — Carrefour de l’Arbre looms

Moscon continues to hold a narrow lead of just 12 seconds going toward the final five-star sector.

Anything could happen — the race is still wide open.

The mud thickened up as the rain lightened up, resulting in sketchy racing conditions.

A TV camera bike went down, apparently trying to avoid Boivin who crashed out of the chase group.

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: (L-R) Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team Alpecin-Fenix and Sonny Colbrelli of Italy and Team Bahrain Victorious covered in mud compete through cobblestones sector during the 118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Men's Eilte a 257,7km race from Compiègne to Roubaix / #ParisRoubaix / on October 03, 2021 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)
Mathieu Van der Poel rides in a chase group with less than 25km to go. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

28km to go — Moscon crashes

Gianni Moscon slipped out on mud, and slid to the ground.

The gap dropped to 15 seconds to the chasers.

It was going so well for Moscon, then the punctured. After swapping bikes, the Italian lost his front tire on the “crown” of the cobbles, and slid out of control.

Could the tire pressure be different on his spare bike than what he was used to racing on all day long?

The puncture and crash knocked the wind out of Moscon’s sail, and his lead was down to 14 seconds going toward the Carrefour de l’Arbre.

30km to go — Moscon punctures

Race leader Gianni Moscon suffers a puncture to his rear tire.

Ineos Grenadiers stops for a bike change.

And he’s off. How much will be lose? Will he be able to maintain the rhythm.

He loses about 15 to 20 seconds in the bike change.

33km to go — Moscon keeps up pressure

Gianni Moscon entered sector 8 with his lead still steady at more than a minute.

A few surges from van der Poel were chased down by the chasing group. The Van Aert group was dangling at two minutes back.

Coming off the cobbles, the gap was holding steady at 1:18.

The last Italian winner? Andrea Tafi in 1999. Could it be time for an Italian victory? We’re getting closer.

38km to go — Moscon powering alone

Gianni Moscon continues alone at the front of the race, with his lead now at 1:28.

Will van der Poel jump before it’s too late? Will the van Aert group be able to mount a comeback?

Could Moscon be gone, gone, gone? He is a very good time trialist, but there are still nine sectors to go.

44km to go — Gaps changing

Coming off the cobbles, the gap between Van der Poel and Van Aert shrank to just 45 seconds. Headwinds seemed to slow the Van der Poel group against the more numerous Van Aert chase group.

Moscon continues to lead on his own of about 50 seconds of two chasers, with 1:26 to the Van der Poel group, and two minutes to Van Aert group.

It’s not over yet!

49km to go — Mons-en-Pevele

Moscon hits the famous sector in heavy, muddy conditions, leading alone about 35 seconds from chasers, and about 1:10 ahead of the van der Poel group.

The van Aert group is 2:25 back, perhaps leaving it too late? Without teammates, van Aert won’t be seeing much help from that group.

52km to go — Gianni Moscon alone at front

Ineos Grenadiers rider Gianni Moscon is alone at the front of the race.

Chasing at 1 minute back are van der Poel, Boivin and Colbrelli coming off sector 12.

A crash in the middle of the chase group also takes down Van Avermaet.

Conditions are improving, and drying roads are turning the mud into something heavier and stickier.

Better or worse? It all looks like hell on wheels.

58km to go — Three peel off the front

Three riders  exit of sector 14 with 63km to go: Vermeersch, Van Asbroeck and Moscon.

The MVDP group trails by 50” with five riders including Van Avermaet in between. The van Aert group continues to keep a close watch at about 1:30 behind the leaders.

Behind, Lampaert had some trouble with his bike, and needed to swap frames.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step finds itself on the back foot going into the decisive final two hours of racing.

62km to go — Van der Poel continues to push

Van der Poel continues to push the pace from the Colbrelli group, and trims the gap to the leaders to 52 seconds. The van Aert group remains steady at 1:28 from the leaders.

Will van der Poel try to jump across to the leaders? Will van Aert leave it? How long can anyone wait?

71km to go — Mathieu van der Poel launches attack

Van der Poel launches an attack to stretch out the van Aert group. Joining him are Haussler, Stybar and Lampaert.

Wow — impressive. He drops everyone, and quickly bridges across to the Colbrelli chase group.

What happens next?

The race is on!

The van Aert group continues to grow as riders link up from behind, but the gap to the leaders is widening. The Colbrelli chase group is not making much gains at 55 back, with the Van Aert group at 1:35 back.

75km to go — Baker’s dozen at front splits

The race remains in pieces. The leading group of 13 is starting to fracture, while the van Aert group is dangling about 1:34 back, and more and more riders are joining the group from behind.

Van der Poel changed bikes, and is now back with the chasing group.

The leaders hit sector 16 as condition slightly improve. It’s not raining, and the wind is drying out a few of the sectors, but big puddles and mud remain omnipresent.

83km to go — Two leaders finally caught

Colbrelli and B&B rider jump from the van Aert group, and are trying to bridge across to the chasing group. The two leaders have finally been caught, now about 50 seconds ahead of the van Aert group.

Behind, riders are chasing back into the van Aert group in a respite between sectors.

88km to go — Leaders massing at the front

The leading pair rode off sector 18, still nursing a gap to the chasers. Van Aert rejoined the van der Poel group, and now they’re about 1 minute back of the leaders.

Here’s a video clip of van Aert’s save in the Arenberg forest:

92km to go — Off the Arenberg

The pair are still off the front, and there was a crash in group two near the end of the Arenberg. The van Aert group is splintered, and the race is all over the place.

Mathieu van der Poel is accompanied by Sonny Colbrelli, Matteo Jorgenson and Canadian national champion Guillaume Boivin while van Aert is chasing them down in another small group.

The sectors now come fast and hard.

Jumbo - Visma Dylan Groenewegen from Netherlands competes in the 118th edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycling race, between Compiegne and Roubaix, northern France, on October 3, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Mud covers the face of Dylan Groenewegen in a brutal edition of Paris-Roubaix. (Photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

95km to go — Three groups hit the Arenberg

Two are off the front about to enter the Arenberg forest, with a group of chasers at 35 seconds back, and the van Aert group 55 seconds back.

A rider crashed just in front of Wout van Aert, but he was able to steer around it, but he is gapped off the back of the group.

100km to go – The Wout van Aert train has left the station

Wout van Aert is really putting the hammer down on the d’Haveluy sector of cobbles. He’s stretching things out behind him as a rider from Cofidis lands in a ditch. Mathieu van der Poel briefly lost touch with the van Aert group but he closed the gap down.

This is carnage.

105km to go – The Arenberg is coming

The riders are quickly approaching the infamous and mythic Arenberg Forrest, in about 10km. For many years, the race would avoid this treacherous section of cobbles because it was far too dangerous. The riders hit this sector at about 60kph.

Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen.

A motorbike carrying a photographer slips on the cobblestone during the 118th edition of the Paris-Roubaix. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

114km to go – Moves from the favorites

The race is really amping up and we’ve seen digs at the front of the dwindling group of favorites from Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Well over 100km to go and the big names are playing their early cards.

The breakaway of two riders swill has 2:46 on the main bunch behind.

Meanwhile, Christophe Laporte has had to get creative with the brakes as it looks like his are completely done already.

125km to go – Motos and monument-winners crash!

2015 Paris-Roubaix champ John Degenkolb is the next big name to crash! Like many of the other victims of the mud, Degenkolb emerged unscathed and was able to get back on his bike, but the sudden change in pace saw a moto come a cropper too.

If you’ve not crashed in this race, you’re missing the party.

Meanwhile up front, there’s just two riders in the break, Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) and Nils Eekhoff (DSM).

Vermeersch has done most of the work at the front since it became a leading duo. The Belgian finished 3rd at the recent world championship U23 time trial, while Eekhoff was the rider to cross the line first before being DQd in the worlds U23 road race in Yorkshire two years ago.

140km to go – MvdP on the chase, Sagan on the deck

Dutch dynamo Mathieu van der Poel popped out the back of the peloton due to a mechanical at around 140km to go, but was swiftly towed back to the bunch.

Alpecin-Fenix sure mean business for “MvdP” in today’s race – a full fleet of the team was pulled back to ride the Dutchman back to the peloton and save their captain’s legs for the final. 

Peter Sagan was the next big name in trouble. The triple world champ hit the floor hard when taking a tight turn in the bunch at around 135km. Sagan was able to jump back on the bike, but looked far from happy.

Best to get the bad luck out the way early, eh?!

145km to go – Front group blows to bits … again!

Out of the cobbled sector 27, four riders have taken some advantage over the rest of the breakaway group.

Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka Assos) and Nils Eekhoff (DSM) emerged from the Saint-Python sector with a few-hundred meters of a gap.

Every rider looks almost the same – coated in mud and shrouded in black waterproof clothes – after the opening hours of racing. Just wait until they get to the Carrefour in the final 20km!

165km to go – Peloton hits first sector of cobbles

Paris-Roubaix is on the rocks!

The lead group just hit the first sector at Troisvilles to Inchy at 96km.

The peloton trails by about 1:48. Marco Haller punctured just ahead of the first sector, and was chasing back to the leaders after swapping a wheel from neutral service.

There was a crash on a sweeping left-hander as a Groupama-FDJ slipped out on the approach to the cobbles, taking down a few riders with him, including Stefan Küng, who crashed for a second time.

Jumbo-Visma and Alpecin-Fenix both massed at the front of the main peloton to protect the pre-race favorites. The crash on the approach split the main group.

Many teams opted for 30mm tires to provide extra grip on the wet cobbles.

No one in the current peloton has raced in the elite men’s version of Paris-Roubaix in wet and muddy conditions.

Buckle up!

180km to go — Big group pulls clear ahead of first cobbles

A big group of 29 riders pulled clear at the front of Paris-Roubaix.

The first sector of cobbles is waiting at 10km.

The gap is about 1:10 off the front.

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) crashed out of the group, and is reincorporating with the main bunch. Some 20 teams are represented in the group of 29.

Here are the riders:

  • Florian Vermeersch, Harry Sweeny, Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal)
  • Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe)
  • Davide Ballerini, Tim De Clercq (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
  • Edoardo Affini, Timo Roosen, Nathan Van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma)
  • Tom van Aesbroek (Israel-Start Up-Nation)
  • Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)
  • Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo)
  • Marco Haller, Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious)
  • Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën)
  • Stefan Bisseger (EF Education-Nippo)
  • André Carvalho (Cofidis)
  • Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE Team Emirates)
  • Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers)
  • Florian Maître (Totalenergies)
  • Luke Durbridge, Robert Stannard (BikeExchange)
  • Edvaldas Siskevicius (Delko)
  • Nils Eekhoff (DSM)
  • Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHassh)
  • Imanol Erviti, Matteo Jorgensen (Movistar)
  • Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels-KTM)

Will it stick in such soggy conditions? Stay tuned!

Here’s a look at how things are from on the road:

208km to go — Big move forms

Boom! A group of about 30 pulls clear as things heat up at Paris-Roubaix at 208km.

Interesting group: Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) is in there. Some 21 teams are represented in the group of 31.

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Stefan Kung of Switzerland and Team Groupama - FDJ crashes during the 118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Men's Eilte a 257,7km race from Compiègne to Roubaix / #ParisRoubaix / on October 03, 2021 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele / Getty Images)
Tangled up in blue — Stefan Küng slips out. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Anticipation building heading toward the first sector at Troisvilles to Inchy at 96km. There’s always a big crowd waiting there, with BBQs, music and beer tents.

Might be kind of soggy today.

How cool are these throwback jerseys being used today by Delko?

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Riders of Team DELKO wear a special edition 'Look 1985' kit for Paris-Roubaix based in La Vie Claire Team jersey of the 1980s inspired by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian prior to the 118th Paris-Roubaix 2021 - Men's Eilte a 257,7km race from Compiègne to Roubaix / #ParisRoubaix / on October 03, 2021 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Tim de Waele / Getty Images)
Riders of Team DELKO wear a special edition ‘Look 1985’ kit for Paris-Roubaix based in La Vie Claire Team jersey of the 1980s inspired by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

219km to go — All together now

There’s always a big fight to get into the day’s main breakaway at Paris-Roubaix.

Why? Because riders can win out of the break.

One of the most famous was in 2016 when Mat Hayman won after attacking early, and then hanging on when the big guns moved up later in the race. He fended off Tom Boonen to win one of the most surprising and emotional recent editions of Paris-Roubaix.

Read about Hayman’s story here —> Roubaix redux: Hayman recounts his miracle win of 2016

He’s on the road to Roubaix today as a sport director for Team BikeExchange.

Average speed in first 30km of racing —> 51kph. Fast.

The past nine editions of Paris-Roubaix have delivered nine different winners. Five of them are back on the start line: Niki Terpstra (2014), John Degenkolb (2015), Greg Van Avermaet (2017), Peter Sagan (2018) and Philippe Gilbert (2019).

228km to go — Bunch all together

The bunch is altogether after two riders were neutralized on the rolling pavement heading north toward hell on wheels.

Here is a list of the pavé sectors of what lies ahead —> click here for story on VeloNews.com.

The 30 cobbled sectors of Paris–Roubaix

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) *

235km to go — Pack rolling along

The pack is rolling along through light rain on the long run-up toward the first pavé sectors, still more than one hour away.

Two riders are off the front, but the gap is coming down to just 15 seconds. That seems too early for a move to go away.

Paris-Roubaix is the final race of Mitch Docker, the veteran Aussie rider on EF Education-Nippo. Here’s what he said before the start:

“I was going to retire, but once Roubaix was called off I said to [EF Education-Nippo’s head DS] Charly Wegelius: I have one request, that I do Roubaix at the end of the year. I don’t care what other races I do, I’d like to finish with Roubaix. I broke my arm three weeks ago so I’ve been preparing on the indoor trainer actually. I hope to avoid crashing. Being in front, being in the middle of the bunch, I’m unsure, whatever it is, a nice smooth day without crashes, that’s all I can really hope for.”

Read Jim Cotton’s full story with Docker here on VeloNews.com.

Mitch Docker was caught up in a spill with Jonas Van Genechten early in his final race Sunday. (Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

248km to go — Trentin sits up

There’s early action in the 2021 Paris-Roubaix.

Maybe after not having raced the cobbles since April 2019, there’s some anxiety to get things moving:

Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) and Max Kanter (DSM) are on the march, with a small gap of 17 second at 8km into the race.

Trentin decides it’s too early, sits up, and leaves two dangling off the front. It is a long way to go!

252km to go — Early nerves, early movement

The 118th edition of Paris-Roubaix is on!

The flag is dropped, and 174 riders from 25 teams are heading out for what will be an epic day of racing.

Overnight rain and mud will mean treacherous race conditions for what is the first “wet” edition since 2001 and 2002.

Action early: Mitch Docker, riding his final race, hits the deck in the tangle of bikes moving out onto the course.

Matteo Trentin (UAE-Emirates) and Edward Teuns (Trek-Segafredo) are the first riders to move just 4km into the race.

Cyclists wait for the start of the 118th edition of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycling race, between Compiegne and Roubaix. (Photo: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

257km to go — the flag is dropped

An entire generation of riders have never raced in the elite men’s Roubaix under such horrendous conditions. Who will it favor? Who will struggle? The women’s race confirmed that the mud and wet conditions tilt the advantage toward riders alone and away from traffic.

Will someone try to attack early and hold a gap to the finish? Buckle up — it should be a wild and unpredictable race from start to finish.

And they’re off!

11h10 — rolling out toward neutral start

The peloton rolls out of Compiègne central square for the neutral start zone.

The 118th edition of Paris-Roubaix is about to start.

10h45 — Rain at start, nerves and smiles

A day after a thrilling women’s inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, the men’s peloton clicks into the pedals for the 118th edition of Paris-Roubaix.

Heavy overnight rain will mean even more treacherous conditions in what will be the first “wet” edition of the Hell of the North since 2001 and 2002.

UPDATE: “It’s raining in Compiègne this morning and all along the course until Roubaix. Weather forecast in the north of France today: high possibility of rain until 1pm with 13°, cloudy and partly sunny with 15° in the afternoon. The cobble sectors should remain wet and muddy all day.” — ASO

The official start is at 11h15 (CET). Check back throughout the race for live updates on all the action, attacks and spills and thrills here at VeloNews. We have Sadhbh O’Shea and Jim Cotton on the ground in France, and Andrew Hood manning the desk.

Also read:

Fans at the start Sunday for Paris-Roubaix Photo: DAVID STOCKMAN / BELGA MAG / AFP via Getty Images)