Paris-roubaix

paris-roubaix

Das Eintagesrennen Paris–Roubaix war die Austragung des Radsportklassikers und fand am Sonntag, den 1. April , statt. Das Rennen ging bei. Das Radrennen Paris–Roubaix ist eines der berühmtesten klassischen Eintagesrennen und zählt zu den fünf Monumenten des Radsports. Prägend für das. 6. Apr. Paris-Roubaix ist die Königin der Klassiker. Ist der Anachronismus des Radsports. Pflaster-Sektoren, Strecke und Favoriten – unsere Vorschau.

By the time Cordang was back on his bike, he had lost metres. There remained six laps to cover. Two miserable kilometres in which to catch Garin. The crowd held its breath as they watched the incredible pursuit match.

The bell rang out. One lap, there remained one lap. A classic victory was within his grasp but he could almost feel his adversary's breath on his neck.

Somehow Garin held on to his lead of two metres, two little metres for a legendary victory. The stands exploded and the ovation united the two men.

Garin exulted under the cheers of the crowd. Cordang cried bitter tears of disappointment. The race usually leaves riders caked in mud and grit, from the cobbled roads and rutted tracks of northern France's former coal-mining region.

However, this is not how this race earned the name l'enfer du Nord , or Hell of the North. The term was used to describe the route of the race after World War I.

They knew little of the permanent effects of the war. Nine million had died and France lost more than any. But, as elsewhere, news was scant.

Who even knew if there was still a road to Roubaix? If Roubaix was still there? The car of organisers and journalists made its way along the route those first riders had gone.

And at first all looked well. There was destruction and there was poverty and there was a strange shortage of men. But France had survived.

But then, as they neared the north, the air began to reek of broken drains, raw sewage and the stench of rotting cattle.

Trees which had begun to look forward to spring became instead blackened, ragged stumps, their twisted branches pushed to the sky like the crippled arms of a dying man.

Nobody knows who first described it as 'hell', but there was no better word. And that's how it appeared next day in the papers: We enter into the centre of the battlefield.

There's not a tree, everything is flattened! Not a square metre that has not been hurled upside down. There's one shell hole after another. The only things that stand out in this churned earth are the crosses with their ribbons in blue, white and red.

Seeking the challenge of racing on cobbles is relatively recent. It began at the same time in Paris—Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders , when widespread improvements to roads after the second world war brought realisation that the character of both races were changing.

Until then the race had been over cobbles not because they were bad but because that was how roads were made.

After the war, of course, the roads were all bad. There were cobbles from the moment you left Paris, or Senlis where we started in those days.

There'd be stretches of surfaced roads and often there'd be a cycle path or a pavement and sometimes a thin stretch of something smoother.

But you never knew where was best to ride and you were for ever switching about. You could jump your bike up on to a pavement but that got harder the more tired you got.

Then you'd get your front wheel up but not your back wheel. That happened to me. And then you'd go sprawling, of course, and you could bring other riders down.

Or they'd fall off and bring you down with them. And the cycle paths were often just compressed cinders, which got soft in the rain and got churned up by so many riders using them and then you got stuck and you lost your balance.

And come what may, you got covered in coal dust and other muck. No, it's all changed and you can't compare then and now. The coming of live television prompted mayors along the route to surface their cobbled roads for fear the rest of France would see them as backward and not invest in the region.

Albert Bouvet , the organiser, said: Its president, Alain Bernard, led enthusiasts to look for and sometimes maintain obscure cobbled paths.

Until the war, Paris—Roubaix was all on routes nationales. But many of those were cobbled, which was the spirit of the race, and the riders used to try to ride the cycle paths, if there were any.

Then in things began to change. And so from the course started moving to the east to use the cobbles that remained there. And then those cobbles began to disappear as well and we feared that Bouvet's predictions were going to come true.

That's when we started going out looking for old tracks and abandoned roads that didn't show up on our maps. In the s, the race only had to go through a village for the mayor to order the road to be surfaced.

Pierre Mauroy, when he was mayor of Lille , [24] said he wanted nothing to do with the race and that he'd do nothing to help it.

A few years ago, there was barely a village or an area that wanted anything to do with us. If Paris—Roubaix came their way, they felt they were shamed because we were exposing their bad roads.

They went out and surfaced them, did all they could to obstruct us. Now they can't get enough of us. I have mayors ringing me to say they've found another stretch of cobbles and would we like to use them.

It was Alain Bernard who found one of the race's most significant cobbled stretches, the Carrefour de l'Arbre. He was out on a Sunday ride, turned off the main road to see what was there and found the last bad cobbles before the finish.

It is a bleak area with just a bar by the crossroads. In France, a bar has to open one day a year to keep its licence.

That's all it did, because it's out in the middle of nowhere and nobody went there to drink any more. With the fame that the race brought it, it's now open all year and a busy restaurant as well.

The Amis supply the sand and other material and the repairs are made as training by students from horticulture schools at Dunkirk , Lomme , Raismes and Douai.

They've even gone off with the milestones. It's a real headache. But I'm confident now that Paris—Roubaix is safe, that it will always be the race it has always been.

The strategic places where earlier races could be won or lost include Doullens Hill , Arras , Carvin and the Wattignies bend. Other sections are excluded because the route of the race has moved east.

Early races were run behind pacers, as were many competitions of the era. Cars and motorcycles were allowed to pace from In , even cars and motorcycles were allowed to open the road for the competitors.

In , the race was within a hair's breadth of disappearing, with only 19 riders at the start. The following year, the organisation therefore decided to allow help only from pacers on bicycles.

And in , help from pacers were stopped for good. An option which lifted Paris—Roubaix out of the background and pushed it, in terms of interest, ahead of the prestigious Bordeaux—Paris.

The start of open racing has been at:. The organisers grade the cobbles by length, irregularity, the general condition and their position in the race.

It is the highest of all the cobbles at m. It starts at 31m and finishes at 34m. It begins with a gentle rise and finishes with a gentle fall.

A memorial to Stablinski stands at one end of the road. The route was reversed in to reduce the speed. This was as a result of Johan Museeuw 's crash in as World Cup leader, which resulted in gangrene so severe that amputation of his leg was considered.

It's the true definition of hell. It's very dangerous, especially in the first kilometre when we enter it at more than 60kh.

The bike goes in all directions. It will be a real spectacle but I don't know if it's really necessary to impose it on us. What I went through, only I will ever know.

My knee cap completely turned to the right, a ball of blood forming on my leg and the bone that broke, without being able to move my body. And the pain, a pain that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Breaking a femur is always serious in itself but an open break in an athlete of high level going flat out, that tears the muscles.

At beats [a minute of the heart], there was a colossal amount of blood being pumped, which meant my leg was full of blood. I'm just grateful that the artery was untouched.

So many fans have taken away cobbles as souvenirs that the Amis de Paris—Roubaix have had to replace them. It was first used in and, as of , has been used every year since except The final stretch of cobbles before the stadium is named after a local rider, Charles Crupelandt , who won in and The organiser of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, predicted he would win his race.

Crupelandt then went to war and returned a hero, with the Croix de Guerre. This m sector was created for the centenary event in by laying a strip of smooth new cobbles down the centre of a wide street.

The finish until was on the original track at Croix, where the Parc clinic now stands. There were then various finish points: The race moved to the current stadium in , and there it has stayed with the exceptions of , and when the finish was in the avenue des Nations-Unies, outside the offices of La Redoute , the mail-order company which sponsored the race.

The shower room inside the velodrome is distinctive for the open, three-sided, low-walled concrete stalls, each with a brass plaque to commemorate a winner.

Paris—Roubaix presents a technical challenge to riders, team personnel, and equipment. Special frames and wheels are often used.

In the past, developments to cope with the demands of Paris—Roubaix have included the use of wider tires, cantilever brakes, and dual brake levers.

More recently, manufacturers such as Specialized have developed new types of bike which are designed to cope with the demands on the cobbled classics: Many teams disperse personnel along the course with spare wheels, equipment and bicycles to help in locations not accessible to the team car.

Riders have experimented, however. After the Second World War many tried wooden rims of the sort used at the start of cycle racing.

Francesco Moser wrapped his handlebars with strips of foam in the s. Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle and Greg LeMond experimented with suspension in their front forks in the s.

Some top riders receive special frames to give more stability and comfort. Different materials make the ride more comfortable.

Tom Boonen , using a Time frame with longer wheelbase for the first time, won the race in and has since continued to use a bike with a longer wheelbase.

The manufacturers claimed this took nearly all the shock out of the cobbles. Hincapie's Trek bicycle fared less well in Canadian rider Steve Bauer had a frame built by Eddy Merckx Bicycles with extremely slack angles, to the extent of being semi-recumbent.

It was not a success and was only used for one edition of the race. The bicycle made for Peter Van Petegem in was a Time. The bad roads cause frequent punctures.

A service fleet consisting of four motorcycles and four cars provides spares to riders regardless of team. Every year we change fewer wheels, because the wheels and tyres are getting better and better.

We changed about 20 wheels today. Tyres are becoming much better than before. Every year, there's new types of gears, new aluminium frames, new titanium frames, so it's getting more complex for us to offer neutral service.

We have a list in the car of who is riding Mavic or Shimano or Campagnolo ; the moment someone gets a flat tyre we need to think of a lot of things at once.

Is it a titanium frame or a carbon frame or a steel frame? In , Georges Passerieu broke away from a small leading group just before Douai because he knew he couldn't outsprint them if they all finished together.

He was chased all the way to Roubaix by a Belgian, Cyrille van Hauwaert, and tension in the velodrome was high. The crowd heard that Passerieu had reached the stadium but nobody rode on to the track.

The leader was just about to ride in when a gendarme stepped into his path to check if his bicycle had the obligatory tax plate attached to it.

Passerieu had already had a hard day and a shouting match broke out before he was allowed to continue. His happiness was short-lived.

Arbitrarily accused of having provoked a fall by Julien Vervaecke, with whom he had broken away, he was disqualified without any sort of hearing.

Vervaecke belonged to the all-powerful Alcyon team, run by the no less powerful Ludovic Feuillet A Belgian may not have won but there were seven Belgians in the first ten.

The result in took several months and two international conferences to sort out. There was a break.

His brother Fausto gave him a push to get him away. He wanted his brother to win. I waited a bit and then I attacked and I caught him and the break.

Then I went off by myself. I was going to win Paris—Roubaix. I looked around for where to go and I was directed round the outside wall of the track, to where the team cars had to park.

The small peloton of about 50 riders was led into the forest by German champion Marcus Burghardt, working for Peter Sagan. Once off the cobbles, only six riders survived in front, two minutes ahead of the Teunissen and Gilbert and the peloton on their heels.

Nils Politt Katusha joined the move. Mads Pedersen Trek tried to close the gap too, but he punctured. At 80 kilometres from the finish, the trio blasted by the three dropped riders from the early breakaway move.

The peloton was trailing this strong group by 20 seconds. There were only four riders left in front as Paris-Nice winner Marc Soler was dropped.

A strong Wallays, Dillier, Bystrom and Robeet were in front but once off this tough section, the four leaders were 40 seconds ahead of Stybar and Soler, with the peloton 20 seconds further back.

At the feed zone, the gap between the leaders and the peloton was less than a minute, with everybody going full gas putting Ronde van Vlaanderen discovery Mads Pedersen in trouble.

Oliver Naesen and Yves Lampaert punctured out of the peloton near Orchies. When approaching the km mark, only Wallays, Dillier and Bystrom remained in front.

The peloton bridged back up with Stybar and Robeet while trailing the three leaders by half a minute. It seemed like the sign for Greg Van Avermaet to accelerate.

His move at 55km from the finish was quickly neutralized but his second acceleration strung out the peloton. Just like in Flanders the Belgian lacked the power to emerge alone but as the pace slowed Sagan pushed on the pedals and quickly opened a gap.

The world champion was on the break's coattails with 51km to go, while the chase from behind lacked cohesion and authority. It was telling that until that point Sagan was one of only a handful of Quick-Step's riders who hadn't been on back-foot due to crashes or mechanicals.

A few seconds, soon stretched to almost a minute as several counter-attacks were chased down. Sagan's presence at the front of the race seemed to give the break a new lease of life, before eventually Terpstra and Phinney helped to create a response that included Van Avermaet and Vanmarcke.

The quartet linked up with Stuyven and Van Aert, who had attacked moments before, but as the race clicked through sectors 10, 9 and 8, the gap to Sagan only grew.

Terpstra tried to rally with 35km to go and although Bystrom cracked, and the Wallays fell back the Quick-Step rider was unable to mount a serious challenge to Sagan's growing authority.

The world champion cut a commanding figure as he led the race through the Carrefour de l'Arbre, with Diller in tow, and as the pair entered the final 10km to chase ran out of gas.

Van Aert's untimely mechanical ended his brave race, while Phinney put in one huge turn for Vanmarcke before slipping back.

Stuyven, Van Avermaet, Terpstra and Vanmarcke kept their slim hopes alive for as long as possible but up ahead the alliance between Dillier and Sagan held firm.

Given what happened two years ago, when Mat Hayman shocked Tom Boonen, to win nothing was certain as the pair entered the velodrome.

Dillier's do-or-die attitude carried him to the front as he swung right and onto the track but as the line approached not even the underdog could hold back the growing inevitability.

The last 75m took place as if they were in slow motion; a chance to dwell on the cobbled classics; the Quick-Step domination, the tale of Flanders, and finally a flash of rainbow colours as Sagan closed another chapter of cycling history.

Peter Sagan waits to receive his cobble trophy Getty Images. And they are off! Into the Arenberg and Gilbert attacks The previous events had turned the peloton into a rather small group of about 50 riders.

Van Avermaet lays the groundwork for Sagan When approaching the km mark, only Wallays, Dillier and Bystrom remained in front.

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There were cobbles from the moment you left Paris, or Senlis where we started in those days. There'd be stretches of surfaced roads and often there'd be a cycle path or a pavement and sometimes a thin stretch of something smoother.

But you never knew where was best to ride and you were for ever switching about. You could jump your bike up on to a pavement but that got harder the more tired you got.

Then you'd get your front wheel up but not your back wheel. That happened to me. And then you'd go sprawling, of course, and you could bring other riders down.

Or they'd fall off and bring you down with them. And the cycle paths were often just compressed cinders, which got soft in the rain and got churned up by so many riders using them and then you got stuck and you lost your balance.

And come what may, you got covered in coal dust and other muck. No, it's all changed and you can't compare then and now. The coming of live television prompted mayors along the route to surface their cobbled roads for fear the rest of France would see them as backward and not invest in the region.

Albert Bouvet , the organiser, said: Its president, Alain Bernard, led enthusiasts to look for and sometimes maintain obscure cobbled paths.

Until the war, Paris—Roubaix was all on routes nationales. But many of those were cobbled, which was the spirit of the race, and the riders used to try to ride the cycle paths, if there were any.

Then in things began to change. And so from the course started moving to the east to use the cobbles that remained there. And then those cobbles began to disappear as well and we feared that Bouvet's predictions were going to come true.

That's when we started going out looking for old tracks and abandoned roads that didn't show up on our maps.

In the s, the race only had to go through a village for the mayor to order the road to be surfaced.

Pierre Mauroy, when he was mayor of Lille , [24] said he wanted nothing to do with the race and that he'd do nothing to help it.

A few years ago, there was barely a village or an area that wanted anything to do with us. If Paris—Roubaix came their way, they felt they were shamed because we were exposing their bad roads.

They went out and surfaced them, did all they could to obstruct us. Now they can't get enough of us. I have mayors ringing me to say they've found another stretch of cobbles and would we like to use them.

It was Alain Bernard who found one of the race's most significant cobbled stretches, the Carrefour de l'Arbre. He was out on a Sunday ride, turned off the main road to see what was there and found the last bad cobbles before the finish.

It is a bleak area with just a bar by the crossroads. In France, a bar has to open one day a year to keep its licence.

That's all it did, because it's out in the middle of nowhere and nobody went there to drink any more. With the fame that the race brought it, it's now open all year and a busy restaurant as well.

The Amis supply the sand and other material and the repairs are made as training by students from horticulture schools at Dunkirk , Lomme , Raismes and Douai.

They've even gone off with the milestones. It's a real headache. But I'm confident now that Paris—Roubaix is safe, that it will always be the race it has always been.

The strategic places where earlier races could be won or lost include Doullens Hill , Arras , Carvin and the Wattignies bend.

Other sections are excluded because the route of the race has moved east. Early races were run behind pacers, as were many competitions of the era.

Cars and motorcycles were allowed to pace from In , even cars and motorcycles were allowed to open the road for the competitors.

In , the race was within a hair's breadth of disappearing, with only 19 riders at the start. The following year, the organisation therefore decided to allow help only from pacers on bicycles.

And in , help from pacers were stopped for good. An option which lifted Paris—Roubaix out of the background and pushed it, in terms of interest, ahead of the prestigious Bordeaux—Paris.

The start of open racing has been at:. The organisers grade the cobbles by length, irregularity, the general condition and their position in the race.

It is the highest of all the cobbles at m. It starts at 31m and finishes at 34m. It begins with a gentle rise and finishes with a gentle fall.

A memorial to Stablinski stands at one end of the road. The route was reversed in to reduce the speed. This was as a result of Johan Museeuw 's crash in as World Cup leader, which resulted in gangrene so severe that amputation of his leg was considered.

It's the true definition of hell. It's very dangerous, especially in the first kilometre when we enter it at more than 60kh.

The bike goes in all directions. It will be a real spectacle but I don't know if it's really necessary to impose it on us. What I went through, only I will ever know.

My knee cap completely turned to the right, a ball of blood forming on my leg and the bone that broke, without being able to move my body. And the pain, a pain that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Breaking a femur is always serious in itself but an open break in an athlete of high level going flat out, that tears the muscles.

At beats [a minute of the heart], there was a colossal amount of blood being pumped, which meant my leg was full of blood. I'm just grateful that the artery was untouched.

So many fans have taken away cobbles as souvenirs that the Amis de Paris—Roubaix have had to replace them. It was first used in and, as of , has been used every year since except The final stretch of cobbles before the stadium is named after a local rider, Charles Crupelandt , who won in and The organiser of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, predicted he would win his race.

Crupelandt then went to war and returned a hero, with the Croix de Guerre. This m sector was created for the centenary event in by laying a strip of smooth new cobbles down the centre of a wide street.

The finish until was on the original track at Croix, where the Parc clinic now stands. There were then various finish points: The race moved to the current stadium in , and there it has stayed with the exceptions of , and when the finish was in the avenue des Nations-Unies, outside the offices of La Redoute , the mail-order company which sponsored the race.

The shower room inside the velodrome is distinctive for the open, three-sided, low-walled concrete stalls, each with a brass plaque to commemorate a winner.

Paris—Roubaix presents a technical challenge to riders, team personnel, and equipment. Special frames and wheels are often used. In the past, developments to cope with the demands of Paris—Roubaix have included the use of wider tires, cantilever brakes, and dual brake levers.

More recently, manufacturers such as Specialized have developed new types of bike which are designed to cope with the demands on the cobbled classics: Many teams disperse personnel along the course with spare wheels, equipment and bicycles to help in locations not accessible to the team car.

Riders have experimented, however. After the Second World War many tried wooden rims of the sort used at the start of cycle racing.

Francesco Moser wrapped his handlebars with strips of foam in the s. Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle and Greg LeMond experimented with suspension in their front forks in the s.

Some top riders receive special frames to give more stability and comfort. Different materials make the ride more comfortable. Tom Boonen , using a Time frame with longer wheelbase for the first time, won the race in and has since continued to use a bike with a longer wheelbase.

The manufacturers claimed this took nearly all the shock out of the cobbles. Hincapie's Trek bicycle fared less well in Canadian rider Steve Bauer had a frame built by Eddy Merckx Bicycles with extremely slack angles, to the extent of being semi-recumbent.

It was not a success and was only used for one edition of the race. The bicycle made for Peter Van Petegem in was a Time.

The bad roads cause frequent punctures. A service fleet consisting of four motorcycles and four cars provides spares to riders regardless of team.

Every year we change fewer wheels, because the wheels and tyres are getting better and better. We changed about 20 wheels today. Tyres are becoming much better than before.

Every year, there's new types of gears, new aluminium frames, new titanium frames, so it's getting more complex for us to offer neutral service. We have a list in the car of who is riding Mavic or Shimano or Campagnolo ; the moment someone gets a flat tyre we need to think of a lot of things at once.

Is it a titanium frame or a carbon frame or a steel frame? In , Georges Passerieu broke away from a small leading group just before Douai because he knew he couldn't outsprint them if they all finished together.

He was chased all the way to Roubaix by a Belgian, Cyrille van Hauwaert, and tension in the velodrome was high.

The crowd heard that Passerieu had reached the stadium but nobody rode on to the track. The leader was just about to ride in when a gendarme stepped into his path to check if his bicycle had the obligatory tax plate attached to it.

Passerieu had already had a hard day and a shouting match broke out before he was allowed to continue.

His happiness was short-lived. Arbitrarily accused of having provoked a fall by Julien Vervaecke, with whom he had broken away, he was disqualified without any sort of hearing.

Vervaecke belonged to the all-powerful Alcyon team, run by the no less powerful Ludovic Feuillet A Belgian may not have won but there were seven Belgians in the first ten.

The result in took several months and two international conferences to sort out. There was a break. His brother Fausto gave him a push to get him away.

He wanted his brother to win. I waited a bit and then I attacked and I caught him and the break. Then I went off by myself. I was going to win Paris—Roubaix.

I looked around for where to go and I was directed round the outside wall of the track, to where the team cars had to park. It wasn't like nowadays, when there's television and everything.

Then it was more chaotic and the whole road was blocked. People said I should have known the way into the track. But how do you know a thing like that at the end of Paris—Roubaix, when you've raced all day over roads like that?

A gendarme signalled the way to go and that's the way I went. It was a journalist on a motorbike who managed to get up to me. He was shouting 'Not that way!

And that's the way I went, except that it came out on the other side of the track from the proper entrance.

The bunch came in and Serse won the sprint. But then his brother told Serse to go to the judges to object. But that was below him. Coppi wanted his brother to have a big victory.

He was a great champion, Coppi, but to do what he did, to protest like that to get a victory for his brother, that wasn't dignified for a champion.

That was below him. A champion like that should never have stooped that low. I never spoke to him about it. The only other times he rode it were in , when he finished fourth, and in , as the defending champion.

When he was criticised, he said: The incident made Hinault angry and he raced back to the others and won in Roubaix.

He was not the first star to refuse. The following year only Zabel was there. In he had stayed at home as well. The fact isn't new but the phenomenon is getting worse and is concerning.

The peloton of stayaways has grown to the point where Paris—Roubaix is now only for a tight group of specialists The race contained a rare spectacle where an early morning breakaway group held on until the finish: As if the success of the breakaway wasn't enough, Paris—Roubaix was about to deliver a cruel irony.

When the two entered Roubaix, Wegmüller ran over a plastic bag that flew out in front of him, which became jammed in his derailleur.

Wegmüller was unable to change gears which was crucial for a sprint finish. He got assistance from his team car to remove the bag, but his gears still would not change.

Knowing that a bicycle change would be suicidal to his chances, Wegmüller continued on his damaged bike; Demol continued to draft behind him.

When it came down to the final sprint, Wegmüller could only watch as Demol sprinted past him to take the victory. Laurent Fignon finished third after a late breakaway from the chasing peloton.

I know the rules, yes, but I don't understand why nobody stopped us, and why nothing was said to us in the 10km that followed. All that just to be told two minutes before going to the podium that we had been disqualified.

Cancellara deserved his victory but for me, I will always be in second place even though I have been disqualified. A doctor attempted to resuscitate him on the spot.

His attack came at almost the same point at which Tom Boonen broke free to win in Considering Boonen's recent criticism over the Bora rider, Sagan could not have offered a more powerful response, letting his legs do the talking, as Boonen's former teammates forlornly tried to get on terms.

Fittingly, it was Dillier who entered the warm roar of the velodrome first. The Swiss champion was a late call-up for AG2R, and spent over km on the attack, but matched Sagan pedal stroke for pedal stroke when the Bora rider made contact.

Dillier took to the high banking and while he clearly gave it one last effort, he was no match for Sagan, who raised his arms as he took the win.

I kept going until the finish. I have to say thank you to all my teammates because they did a great job. They kept the group all together from the start.

I did my winning move with 50km to go and I'm very happy to come first. It's an amazing feeling. And as first and second free-wheeled around the velodrome to soak up the applause, Terpstra appeared from nowhere.

The counter-attack brought Sagan to within 43 seconds at one point, but the world champion was in a league of his own, and once out of sight their next rendezvous came inside the velodrome.

Tom Stamsnijder Sunweb was a non-starter. Only after an hour, a breakaway move was able to distance the peloton.

Their lead grew up to more than eight minutes in the long run-up to the cobbles. In contrast to previous years, the cobbles were covered with mud.

The leaders had no problems on this sector, but much later, the peloton didn't pass through unscathed. There was a massive crash in the belly of the peloton with Mads Würtz Schmidt Katusha injured, but he was able to continue his race.

Geraint Thomas Team Sky was one of the victims too, and he abandoned little later. The first messages concerning his crash indicated he needed urgent help.

We are deeply saddened to write that Michael Goolaerts died this evening. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and teammates].

They were able to come back into the Quick-Step Floors controlled peloton at kilometres from the finish. The previous events had turned the peloton into a rather small group of about 50 riders.

They were trailing the nine leaders by 2: The small peloton of about 50 riders was led into the forest by German champion Marcus Burghardt, working for Peter Sagan.

Once off the cobbles, only six riders survived in front, two minutes ahead of the Teunissen and Gilbert and the peloton on their heels.

Nils Politt Katusha joined the move. Mads Pedersen Trek tried to close the gap too, but he punctured.

At 80 kilometres from the finish, the trio blasted by the three dropped riders from the early breakaway move. The peloton was trailing this strong group by 20 seconds.

There were only four riders left in front as Paris-Nice winner Marc Soler was dropped. A strong Wallays, Dillier, Bystrom and Robeet were in front but once off this tough section, the four leaders were 40 seconds ahead of Stybar and Soler, with the peloton 20 seconds further back.

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Belgien Dirk De Wolf. Auch sonst gibt es beim Radsport immer wieder Todesfälle. Belgien Rik Van Looy. Goolaerts ist nicht der einzige: Fragen und Antworten zum tragischen Tod von Radprofi Goolaerts audio. Denkmal für den Pflasterstein, errichtet anlässlich der

Paris-roubaix Video

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