Sagan wins Paris-Roubaix
09 Apr 18
Peter Sagan has claimed the queen monument – the Paris-Roubaix – with a stunning charge with 54km to go that broke the peloton and dispersed the lead breakaway handing him victory on the famous cobbles.
The triple world champion looked the goods from the moment he joined the lead group consisting of Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) and Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates) – four riders who had led practically the entire race and outlasted fellow breakers like Marc Soler (Movistar), Ludovic Robeet and Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Geoffrey Soupe (Cofidis), Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence) and Jay Thompson (Team Dimension Data).
He was aided by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates working to keep the peloton just far enough behind to allow him the buffer to work to the line.
Bystrøm was the first to relent after Sagan’s arrival, and three became two with 25kms to go when Wallays fell back to the peloton.
Considering the work already in his legs, the Swiss national champion Dillier dug deep to hold with the world champion, as the duo made their way into Roubaix to increase their gap over the chasing pack.
Dillier led Sagan into the velodrome, giving the Slovak the advantage of being able to wait behind to launch his attack, which he did with just over 100kms to go to take the line comfortably.
It was the first time that a reigning world champion has won the race since 1981 when Bernard Hinault claimed honours wearing the world champion’s rainbow stripes.
"I feel amazing,” Sagan said after the race.
“I'm so tired but I was involved in no crashes, had no flat tyres and I just kept going.”
"Thank you to all my team-mates - they did a great job keeping everyone together and in the end I made the winning move."
Sagan and Diller share platitudes after crossing the line in the Roubaix velodrome
Diller’s highly-praised second placing was his first podium in the Paris-Roubaix. He praised Sagan after the end of the race after being in the unenviable position of having to duel the accomplished sprinter to the line.
"I broke a finger recently and didn't think I'd make Paris-Roubaix because of that," Dillier said.
"Sagan is an angel and a devil in the same person - an angel because he took me with him and a devil because I had to go man-to-man with him. Congratulations to him."
Tragedy mars race
While Sagan’s tremendous victory was undeniably one of the highlights of the year so far, it was the tragic passing of 23-year-old Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts on Sunday night that closed the day on a solemn note.
The Veranda’s Willems-Crelan rider fell during the second cobbled sector and suffered a cardiac arrest, before bring airlifted to a Lille hospital.
His team released this statement on Sunday night:
The Spring classics continue next weekend with the Dutch Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, ahead of La Fleche Wallone on Wednesday ahead of the fourth monument of the year – Liege-Bastogne-Liege on April 22.
Sagan’s victory extends his lead atop the UCI WorldTour Rankings
- Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 05:54.06
- Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) +0.00.00
- Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) +0.00.57
- Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) +0.01.34
- Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) +0.01.34
- Sep Vanmarck (EF Education First-Drapac pb Cannondale) +0.01.34
- Nils Politt (Team Katusha Alpecin) +0.02.31
- Taylor Phinney (EF Education First-Drapac pb Cannondale) +0.02.31
- Zdenek Štybar (Quick-Step Floors) +0.02.31
- Jens Debusschere (Lotto Soudal) +0.02.31
UCI WorldTour Rankings
- Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) – 1626 points
- Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) – 1297 points
- Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) – 1079 points
- Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) – 986 points
- Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) – 853.57
- Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo) – 935
- Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) – 861.57
- Philippe Gilbert (Quick Step Floors) – 855
- Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ) – 827
- Elia Viviani (Quick Step Floors) – 817