Paris-Roubaix: A true Sunday in hell for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung

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John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) would pick up his 2nd monument victory of the year as he out sprinted 6 other riders on the Roubaix velodrome to win the 113th Paris-Roubaix. Zdnek Stybar (Eitxx-Quickstep) would be the runner-up and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) completed the podium.

It was a true race of attrition as no team could really say they dominated proceedings today. It was more a process of elimination due to the rigors of the cobblestone sectors that created the main selections of the race. It was only in the final 50km that Etixx-Quickstep looked to have some sort of control of the race as they used their 5 remaining riders to put the peloton into the gutter in a crosswind section.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Tyler Farrar were the final two surviving members of Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung still at the head of the race just before the crosswind section while Andy Stauff and Jay Thomson were chasing back on just behind. The selection created by the Belgian squad though, saw only 20 odd riders come out in tact on the other side of the gutter.

Most of the pre-race favourites were represented in this group and from this point it was a matter of punches and counter-punches between the heavyweights. Eventually 3 riders (Lampaert, Van Avermaet, Degenkolb) went clear with 11km to go and then with 3km to go a group of 4 (Stybar, Boom, Elmiger, Keukeleire) would bridge to make a final group of 7 who would sprint it out for the win.

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung would have a tough day in the office with Tyler being our highest placed rider, 7 minutes off Degenkolb’s winning ride. Much will be taken from our teams first outing at the Hell of the North with a sure return of our African team to the Queen of the classics.

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