The 112th edition of the Paris-Roubaix yesterday saw 199 riders take on the brutal 297km course that featured 51.5km of energy-sapping cobbled sections. The action was explosive from the start with many of the favourites, including fi’zi:k riders Peter Sagan (Cannondale) aboard his Aliante saddle and Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) aboard his Arione saddle, attacking each other throughout the day.
Despite the sunny weather that kept the infamous cobbles dry, there were still plenty of high-speed crashes which caught out some of the big names, including Cancellara and fi’zi:k rider Greg Van Avermaet.
A decisive breakaway group was finally formed 15km from the finish line and with most of the hot favourites still present - including Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen, Sep Vanmarcke, Peter Sagan, Geraint Thomas and Sir Bradley Wiggins - a nail-biting finish was set.
With 6km to go the Dutchman, Niki Terpstra of Omega Pharma – Quick Step, attacked the group and managed to coast away as none of the favourites had the legs to take up the chase and bridge the gap. With a 16 second lead, Terpstra entered the open-air Roubaix velodrome on his own leaving the chasing pack to battle it out in a sprint finish behind him. fi’zi:k riders Sagan, Thomas, Langeveld and Wiggins were sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively after John Degenkolb and three-time winner Fabian Cancellara won the sprint for second and third.
After the race Sir Bradley Wiggins said: “There's a tinge of disappointment because I had the legs. It gives confidence that I can match those guys and to go top 10 in hindsight is a good result. I'd love to come back in the next few years and do it again."