World Champion Peter Sagan wins Paris-Roubaix after decisive attack
With 53 kms to go in a decisive move, Peter Sagan attacked and rode away and only Swiss Champion Silvan Dillier from the breakaway could follow his wheels
The first hour of racing was very fast as several attacks to form a breakaway were shut down by the peloton. Eventually after an hour of racing, six riders formed a breakaway; Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Ludovic Robeet (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), and Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal).
There were the eventual crashes, the first big one just before the first secteur. 110 kms to go and Matteo Trentin from Mitchelson-Scott crashed heavily. Gianni Moscon lost it on a corner but got back on. Michael Goolaerts suffered a bad crash and was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Later on, Kristoff and Tony Martin went down heavily, their race over.
The breakaway increaed to nine riders; Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Silvan Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Ludovic Robeet (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Jimmy Duquennoy (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic), Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal), Geoffrey Soupe (Cofidis, Solutions Credits), Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), and Jay Robert Thomson (Dimension Data).
With 177 kms to go and the breakaway's lead increased to over 8 minutes and the peloton, lead by Quick-Step Floors, Bora, and Team Sky started to chase. With 130 kms to go and the breakaway's lead was reduced to just over 4 minutes.
With 53 kms to go in a decisive move Peter Sagan attacked and rode away, behind everyone else marked each other as Sagan opened up a gap. He quickly bridged across to the leading trio and immediately Silvan Dillier started sharing the work.
With 46 kms to go Taylor Phinney was the first to counter attack out of the chasing group. Only Gilbert, van Avermaet, Terpstra, van Marcke and Stuyven could follow.
Terpstra was the next to attack and Phinney was dropped having done his work for Van Marcke. Gilbert was struggling.
Up ahead only Silvan Dillier could hold Sagan's wheel, as they increased their lead up to a maximum of 1m 30 seconds.
Van Avermaet, Terpstra, van Marcke and Stuyven started to chase, but it was apparent with 5 kms to go that Sagan and Silvan Dillier wouldn't be caught.
Silvan Dillier led out the finale on the boards of the velodrome, with 250m to go Sagan launched his sprint and Dillier couldn't match him.
From the Finish Line, “It’s amazing to win Paris-Roubaix! I’m so tired after this race but I have to say, this year I wasn’t involved in any crashes, I wasn’t feeling tired at the start and just tried to save energy. After I went in the attack I just kept going until the finish. I feel so much better than I have done in all the years I’ve ridden Paris-Roubaix – I was so much more tired then than I am today. Thank you to all my teammates, because they did such a great job – Daniel Oss, Marcus Burghardt and Maciej Bodnar, my brother Juraj and to Andreas Schillinger and Rüdi Selliger at the start, who kept the group all together. In the end, I made the winning move with around 50km to go and I’m very happy to have come in first. It’s an amazing feeling. I always try to do my best and to get the best results.” – Peter Sagan
VIDEO: 2018 Paris-Roubaix Final Kilometre
2018 Paris-Roubaix Top 10
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 5:54:06
2 Silvan Dillier (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
3 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:57
4 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:34
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
6 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
7 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 0:02:31
8 Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
9 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal