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Dylan van Baarle is the champion of Paris-Roubaix 2022!

Van Aert outlines 2023 plans, wants to claim a 'big fish' in classics
24/11/2022 AT 14:26
Onto the fabled concrete track with it all to himself. He can smile his way round to complete the fastest finish to this race in its history. The four behind play cat and mouse before Kung leads it out. Van Aert chases then catches Kung. Devriendt finishes fourth, Mohoric fifth.

1.4km to go: Secteur 1: Roubaix - Espace Charles Crupelandt ⭐

Dylan van Baarle is the champion elect of Paris-Roubaix 2022. But who will join him on the podium. Two of this four have to miss out. Kung is the least likely to emerge from the spint, so is the first to attack his colleagues, but it comes to nothing.

7km to go: Lampaert takes a massive hit and crashes violently

A clapping spectator doesn’t get his hand out of the way, clips Lampaert's bars and the Belgian is denied a podium place in the cruellest of ways. Mohoric is briefly on his own, before being caught by Kung, Van Aert and Devriendt.

8.2km to go: Secteur 2: Willems to Hem ⭐⭐

Into the final 10km and the blackboard in front of Van Baarle shows him that his lead is now 40 seconds. Mohoric grits his teeth but he looks to have burned a few too many matches to bring Van Baarle back now. Tom Devriendt is “getting an armchair ride” to the finish with Van Aert and Kung.

14.9km to go: Secteur 3: Gruson ⭐⭐

Kung slipped a bit on the Carrefour, but stayed upright, and while he lost contact with Van Aert, he was able to regain it between the sectors. Crucially, the pair aren’t getting much closer to the front of the race. Van Baarle has twenty seconds over Mohoric and Lampaert and is getting ever closer to Ineos Grenadiers’ first ever Paris-Roubaix.

17.2km to go: Secteur 4: Carrefour de l'Arbre ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heeeere’s… the Carrefour. Ben Turner hits the deck, forcing the Intermarche man to evasively manoeuvre, as down the track his team-mate pushes on. Van Baarle is looking powerful on the centre of the pave. It’s a very visible gap, but Mohoric doesn’t look done yet.

19.9km to go: Secteur 5: Camphin-en-Pévèle ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Stuyven punctures! Just before sector five. Seldom have we seen so many suffered by so many of the protagonists. Dylan van Baarle is on the move, as the dust kicks up and the crowds cry out under still spring skies. Devriendt has finally fallen away.

24.4km to go: Secteur 6: Bourghelles to Wannehain ⭐⭐⭐

Dylan Van Baarle steals a metre or two in the gutter, while his colleagues ride the crown. These four have a lead of around 40 seconds. “Too big for comfort with the firepower we’ve got in here,” says Magnus Backstedt. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) hits the front and grabs a gap, is followed by WVA, leaving MVDP in their wake. Van der Poel has, officially, been dropped. Meanwhile Matej Mohoric, back on the tarmac, goes again.

26.9km to go: Secteur 7: Cysoing to Bourghelles ⭐⭐⭐

At 28.5km remaining, Yves Lampaert (QuickStep - AlphaVinyl) casually drifts off the front and Matej Mohoric is the only rider with the faculties to follow. They quickly catch up to and collect Devriendt. Ineos Grenadiers, with the numbers, have to chase this and it’s Van Baarle who does so. The old foes, Van der Poel and Van Aert seem to be watching each other and it may cost them both once again.

33.3km to go: Secteur 8b: Templeuve - Moulin-de-Vertain ⭐⭐

Wout van Aert makes another move. He’s got to be feeling good. Devriendt’s lead is now a bridgeable 18 seconds.

33.8km to go: Secteur 8a: Templeuve - L'Epinette ⭐

“This has been a crazy bike race,” says Rob Hatch. He's not wrong, eh? Devriendt, the rider from West Flanders, wolfs down a gel and gets on with the job. What else can he do? It’s getting cagey behind, as these riders surely know it will be one of them, and most likely one of the biggest names. Could that open the door to Ben Turner (Ineos Grenadiers) who has been in tremendous form lately.

39.2km to go: Secteur 9: Port Thibault to Ennevelin ⭐⭐⭐

Puncture for Van Aert! All the hard work may be about to go up in smoke. I also may have spoken prematurely. Five of the riders who had been dropped have come back. Advantage breakaway? Mohoric has been chatting with Devriendt, and we see him straight onto the radio, and suddenly Devriendt finds himself on his own, as Mohoric himself has a puncture and is forced back to the Van Aert/Van der Poel group.

42.6km to go: Secteur 10: Mérignies to Avelin ⭐⭐

As Van Baarle claws himself closer to the front of the race, Wout van Aert accelerates. Initially Van der Poel allows the gap to grow, before bringing himself back, and taking Stefan Kung (Groupama FDJ) with him, and they form a five with Pichon and Van Baarle. It's between the seven riders in these two groups now, surely?

48.6km to go: Secteur 11: Mons en Pevele ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Onto the penultimate five star test. Dylan van Baarle clips away from the chasers, providing a bit of a target for someone, surely? 48 seconds the gap to the lead trio as the race director’s car moves out of it. Three riders versus nine at the moment. Or at least it was, because as I type that Pichon's legs seem to go.

54.1km to go: Secteur 12: Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersée ⭐⭐⭐⭐

There’s movement at the front of the bunch, from Wout van Aert and Stefan Kung. Van Aert is looking better as the race goes on, while Mathieu van der Poel has put his nose into the win for the first time in this race. The peloton is now a thin group of elite poursuivants. “I think we’re at a very very important point in the race” says Rob Hatch.

60.2km to go: Secteur 13: Orchies ⭐⭐⭐

The farmers field, the bone-rattling cobbles. Pichon trying to break the French duck; Mohoric looking to become the first Slovenian winner, as he was Milan-Sanremo. He looks supreme on the bike, does Mohoric. Just under two minutes the gap, with a quarter of the race remaining. Here comes Wout van Aert, taking twenty seconds off it in a flash.

65.2km to go: Secteur 14: Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies ⭐⭐⭐

Dan Lloyd on what will be going through the mind of the leaders’ leader: “Mohoric will have to decide how long he wants help at the front for and when they are hurting rather than helping him. Certainly he’ll have a plan.” He’s certainly a rider who win solo from far out, but surely not this far out? Rob Hatch points out that the race has just gone past the point where Nils Politt and Philippe Gilbert left the peloton behind in 2019. Bradley Wiggins remind us that Orchies was where Tom Boonen won it a decade ago. Oh how we love the speculation.

75km to go: Secteur 16: Warlaing to Brillon ⭐⭐⭐

Over 125km since it broke apart, we once again have one large peloton and a small group of escapees. Mohoric, Devriendt and Pichon are pushing on while Ballerini, Swift and Pederson are struggling to stay away. We’re hearing reports that Mads Pederson has abandoned. Magnus Backstedt is forecasting a finish speed of 46.5km/hour, which would make this the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix.

82.5km to go: Secteur 17: Hornaing to Wandignies ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The longest sector of the race at 3.7km, and Wout van Aert is back in the Van der Poel group, which has itself caught the Ineos-led peloton, making a larger group three. We think. Casper Pedersen has been dropped from the front group.

89.3km to go: Secteur 18: Wallers to Hélesmes ⭐⭐⭐

Wout van Aert pulls over for a bike change, which hopefully answers our earlier question. He’s got some work to do, and no mistake. Davide Ballerini is now riding with Connor Swift, behind the Mohoric group but thirty seconds ahead of Ganna and his three Ineos colleagues. There's two minutes between the front four and Wout van Aert.

95.3km to go: Secteur 19: Trouee d’Arenberg ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for, the most amazing stretch of the most amazing bike race in the world. “Normally you’d have fresher legs here, but they’ve been ripping the legs off each other,” says Rob Hatch. “Here. We. Go.” “I can’t describe how difficult it is to ride this,” says Backstedt. No cheating here, as the side of the path is blocked by barriers. Ballerini pushes the quintet through past a corridor of noise and violence, and in a second his race changes as he loses traction with a rear wheel puncture. That’ll hurt their chances.
A minute later Ineos lead the peloton onto the same secteur with Ganna really going for it. Further back Wout van Aert is drifting. Mechanical, obstacle, or biological?

103.5km to go: Secteur 20: Haveluy to Wallers ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The positioning for the Arenberg starts now” says Magnus Backstedt. If you’re not in the front ten positions, it’s going to be a lot harder for you. Three riders who will be there, as well as Mohoric and Ballerini are Casper Pedersen (Team DSM), Tom Devrient (Intermarche-Wanty Gobert) and Laurent Pichon (Arkea-Samsic). “It’s the most frightening run-in of any bike race. When you get it right, it’s spectacular,” says Backstedt.

110km to go: Onto an 11km stretch of tarmac

And there’s been a split in the front group, as Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) - on whom you could have gotten very generous odds before today - goes on the charge, in the company of four others, including Davide Ballerini (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl). Eighteen seconds lead they have already.

119.6km to go: Secteur 22: Quérénaing to Maing ⭐⭐⭐

A front wheel puncture for Reynders means he needs a wheel change from neutral service at a most inconvenient point on the pave. With the riders behind closing fast our hearts are in our mouths - Adam Blythe releases a sound not translatable to text - as we pray see the stopped rider and motorbike ahead of them in time. Fortunately they seem to and disaster is averted. The gap is back below a minute but the big names still have work to do. "It's on like Donkey Kong" says Bradley Wiggins on the moto.

122.3km to go: Secteur 23: Verchain-Maugré to Quérénaing ⭐⭐⭐

The conversation in the commentary box is about what the Van der Poel group can do, and when they can do it. Obviously they want to save as much energy as possible but there’s a significant possibility that could lead to the race disappearing out of sight while their domestiques slowly (or rapidly) get used up. Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) is now out front on his own. Another mechanical for Ganna, whose chain comes off, but he's quickly back in the saddle.

126.6km to go: Secteur 24: Saulzoir to Verchain-Maugré ⭐⭐

“It’s a scenario I’ve never before witnessed in Paris-Roubaix,” says Magnus Backstedt. He can’t imagine that any of the teams had prepared for this scenario unfolding, so there must be a lot of improvisation going on.

133.5km to go: Secteur 25: Haussy ⭐⭐

Trying to work out the shame of the race but one things that's clear is that Alpecin-Fenix are on the back foot, as their group drifts towards two minutes from the head of the race. Wout van Aert at least has a couple of team-mates, Timo Roosen and Mike Teunissen up the road. The front group is actually two smaller ones, with a dozen or so seconds between them.

139.3km to go: Secteur 26: Vertain to Saint Martin sur Ecaillon ⭐⭐⭐

As Terpstra flies along the cobbles, Dan Lloyd and Adam Blythe wonder how the gap between the two larger groups has gone back up to well over a minute again. “There must have been a crash,” that we didn’t see, says Dan, while Adam wonders if maybe it was a result of the congestion from the group one tumble. Ganna is back to the front and going very well. Maybe too well, at this point, for my bet on him to pay off. Stefan Kung, one of my other picks, is clearly concerned about the size of this gap, as he takes to the front of the second group.

147.1km to go: Secteur 27: Saint Python ⭐⭐

Enormous crash in the front group! Several of the Ineos riders involved, including Magnus Sheffield, which tells you where in the bunch it happened. It came on a particularly narrow part of the pave and the pile-up has caused a major blockage in the race. The 2014 winner of this race, Niki Terpstra (Total Energies), has taken advantage and gone off on his own, taking the pressure off his team-mates. Elsewhere Christophe Laporte (Jumbo Visma) is rolling with a rear wheel puncture.

151.8km to go: Secteur 28: Quievy to Saint Python ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first four star sector of the race and the dust is kicking up. In group two, Trek Segafredo can’t seem to stay upright. We’ve seen several of their riders hitting the deck. Filippo Ganna, one of my picks for the day, suffers a front wheel puncture which is changed relatively quickly, but he’s got a fair old chase to get back on and "he's absolutely railing it" through the corners. Presumably his team-mates will ease off slightly to make it easier for him but if they do there's a danger that second group will come back, whose speed is a fair bit higher. The gap is now nearer thirty seconds than a minute.

160.9km to go: Secteur 30: Troisvilles to Inchy ⭐⭐⭐

It's Geoffrey Soupe (Total Energie) who leads the race onto the first set of cobbles. The benefit of being - effectively - two pelotons, is there isn’t quite the nervy, hectic battle for positions we usually see. It’s far from the hardest sector of cobbles but none of them are easy and a crash does indeed occur in the second group before they even get there. Mads Pederson (Trek Segafredo) and Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) are among those caught in it. Greg van Avermaet (AG2R Citroen) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) are up towards the front, keeping themselves as far from trouble as possible. Ineos are keeping the pace high and Cameron Wurf is their man pushing it for as long as he can.

Welcome to Hell

Back in its usual spot on the calendar, it’s been barely six months since last we were last watching Paris-Roubaix, and conditions could not be more different to that astonishing October day.
We all have our preferences and can argue the toss over whether this is the best, most exciting day of racing of the year, but few would deny that it is the most unpredictable.
No-one will have predicted the massive split in the peloton that occurred with just over 210km to go. It was Ineos wot done it - namely Amstel Gold Winner, Michal Kwiatkowski - with no small amount of assistance from the crosswinds.
Bahrain Victorious and EF Education First mostly made the front group, while Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix, Mads Pederson's Trek-Segafredo and Wout van Aert's Jumbo Visma were among those who missed out.
As the group behind struggled to get organise, Ineos pushed on and the gap quickly absorbed the escaping trio before extending to over thirty seconds. Just before the 200km mark, on a long straight stretch of road, we could see how far behind was group two. The clock ticked over a minute. It's now 80 seconds and it's not going to have come down much before the cobbles begin, if at all.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before in Paris-Roubaix,” said our man on the bike, Bradley Wiggins. The big question is how much this will shape the race in its later stages.
The first secteur of pavé is less than 10km up the road, and the cobbles come thick and fast after that. Hold on to your hats.

Who is riding?

Defending champion Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) will not defend his crown as the Italian battles back from a career-threatening heart problem that surfaced during the Volta a Catalunya. The 2019 champion Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal) is focusing on the Ardennes while there are ongoing doubts over the inclusion of Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) as the Slovakian continues to struggle with apparent long-Covid.
This means the most recent champion taking to the start may be the Belgian Greg van Avermaet of Ag2R-Citroen – and we can probably all agree that his best days are behind him. The 2017 winner will be joined by Sagan’s team-mate, the Dutch 2014 champion Niki Terpstra – for whom the previous aside rings even truer – ditto the German 2015 winner John Degenkolb (Team DSM).
Now let’s look at the startlist in a more positive fashion. The in-form riders with a good shot of winning the men’s edition include two riders who have yet to add a cobblestone trophy to their busy mantlepieces – Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – as well as a bunch of riders for whom momentum has been building during the spring campaign: Alexander Kristoff (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ), Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) and Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco).
In Colbrelli’s absence, Bahrain Victorious will put their faith in the veteran Australian Heinrich Haussler and the Milan-San Remo champion Matej Mohoric of Slovenia, although it will be worth watching Fred Wright after the British youngster impressed at Flanders. Haussler, 38, has finished in the top 10 on three occasions although evidence shows that he’s gone a little soft in his old age (he rode the Ronde in a pair of gloves, which was a first).
The team in most need of a morale-boosting win are QuickStep Alpha Vinyl. They have been a one-man band this spring with Kasper Asgreen struggling to shoulder all the burden of results. Once again the Danish rouleur will lead alongside old hands Zdenek Stybar (twice runner-up in the Roubaix velodrome) and Yves Lampaert.
Read Felix Lowe's full preview here

How can I watch?

Eurosport has you covered, with coverage of the men’s race from 09:30 to 17:00 UK time – bookended by The Breakaway. You can also watch both editions of Paris-Roubaix on discovery+ and GCN+.
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