Van der Poel dominates Paris Roubaix with historic victory

PARIS: Mathieu van der Poel, the Dutch cycling sensation, showcased his unparalleled talent once again as he triumphed in the Paris Roubaix for the second time in his career. The race, famously dubbed the “Hell of the North” for its grueling cobblestone sectors, witnessed Van der Poel’s remarkable solo attack, launched 60 kilometers from the finish line. This audacious move not only secured his second Monument victory of the year but also etched his name in the annals of cycling history.

Covering the 260-kilometer arduous route, punctuated by 29 bone-rattling cobblestone sectors, Van der Poel’s dominance was evident as he crossed the finish line with a commanding lead of three minutes. His winning margin marked the largest in over two decades, a testament to his sheer brilliance on the saddle. Clocking in at an astonishing time of five hours, 25 minutes, and 58 seconds, Van der Poel’s performance established a new benchmark, making it the quickest Paris Roubaix in history.

The victory not only solidified Van der Poel’s status as a cycling prodigy but also earned him a unique place in cycling lore. He joined an elite club of only ten riders to conquer both cobbled Monuments, the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, in a single season. What’s more, he became just the second rider to achieve this feat while donning the coveted rainbow jersey, a distinction previously held by Rik van Looy in 1962.

As Van der Poel basked in the adulation of the crowd, the battle for the remaining podium spots ensued behind him. Jasper Philipsen surged ahead with 14 kilometers to go, securing the runner-up position for Alpecin-Deceuninck in a remarkable one-two finish. Meanwhile, Mads Pedersen and Nils Politt engaged in a fierce duel, ultimately clinching third place for Lidl-Trek and completing the podium, respectively.(Reuters)

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