Paris-Roubaix is often called the most beautiful race in cycling. Just completing the 257 km race is seen by many as an accomplishment. The poorly laid stones rattle the riders to their cores. The race is pure chaos. Riders attack, crash, come back and above all else suffer. On Sunday, Philippe Gilbert did what few professional cyclists have done, win four of the five Monuments on the professional calendar. At 36 years old, it was only his third time racing Roubaix and it was the culmination of a cobbled Monument plan that brought him back to Patrick Lefevere’s team in 2017 and saw him win Flanders in 2018.
2017 Paris-Roubaix winner Greg van Avermaet;s bike.
Peter Sagan has had a relatively lackluster 2019 cobbles campaign but was looking for redemption in Roubaix after winning it in 2018.
The peloton stretched on cobbles.
The Vertain a Saint Martin sur Ecaillon cobbled sector.
Katusha leads over cobbles.
Greg van Avermaet was at the head of affairs on the Forest of Arenberg.
Heinrich Haussler and Wout van Aert were left chasing on the Arenberg.
Stijn Vandenbergh on the attack with Peter Sagan keeping on eye on him.
Sep Vanmarcke had a great race but like nearly everyone, suffered some mechanical misfortune in the final stage of the race.
Zdenek Stybar on the Carrefour de l'Arbre.
Nils Politt was active for the last couple of hours of the race getting into an early break and then launching an attack with 67 km to go.
Philippe Gilbert was extremely motivated to win this race.
Wout van Aert made a huge comeback after a mechanical and then a crash after trying to switch bikes.
They chased Gilber and Politt who got away after some powerful attacking from the group of favourites.
A select group of favourites on Auchy Lez Orchies a Bersee.
All Greg van Avermaet could do was chase.
The 2019 champion.
Gilbert and Politt exchange pleasantries after the race.
Some dramatic fire to celebrate the winner.
The 2019 Hell of the North podium.
It was a memorable day of racing with stories of riders suffering misfortune of varying degress. Taylor Phinney was passed by his team car after suffering a mechanical and was forced to abandon. Tiej Benoot crashed through the back window of a rival teams car suffering a broken collar bone. Wout van Aert suffered a mechanical on the Forest of Arenberg but was able to chase back to the lead group before tacking a bike change and then crashing forcing him to chase again.
It was Gilbert who was the days strongest benefitting from impecible team tactics and extremely strong leges.