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Colbrelli has done it

The first rainy Roubaix in 19 years. And what a day it was. Riders flipping over handlebars, sliding into ditches, falling roadside – truly the Sunday in Hell as promised. No one wants to see the riders getting hurt but the danger is an inseparable part of the great spectacle. Luckily, we do not need to wait too long for the next one. It is just 6 months away.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Victorious) showed tremendous form this year, winning numerous stages, the Italian national champion’s jersey, the European road race and more. He wasn’t the main favourite at the Paris-Roubaix. Everyone expected Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to shine in the mud. And they did. Van der Poel nearly won it himself but was outsprinted on the velodrome by Colbrelli and Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal).

Colbrelli then jumped off his bike, raised it up in the air and then promptly put it back down in tears of joy. A very well-deserved victory for the Italian. And what an advert for the whole cycling world.

“It’s unbelievable,” the Bahrain Victorious rider told Eurosport. “My first Paris-Roubaix and I win? I don’t know. I am very happy. Today is a legendary [edition] of Roubaix, no? With the rain, with the weather, with the race at the start, I attacked with 90 km to go after Arenberg and always I followed Van der Poel. Then after a super sprint, I am very happy for this victory.

“My [favourite] race is Flanders, and then second Roubaix. This is amazing. This year is my… I am very happy.”

Sony Colbrelli
A very well-deserved victory for Colbrelli. © Profimedia

Paris-Roubaix 2021 results

  1. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Victorious) – 6:01:57
  2. Florian Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal)
  3. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix)
  4. Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) + 44 seconds
  5. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) + 1:16
  6. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis)
  7. Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
  8. Tom van Asbroeck (Israel Start-Up Nation)
  9. Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-Up Nation)
  10. Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Victorious)

Lizzie Deignan wins the women’s edition

Lizzie Deignan
Deginan did it. © Profimedia

It was an accidental win you could say because Lizzie Deignan didn’t mean to attack at all.

“That was really not the plan,” Deignan said after the finish. “I needed to be at the front of the first cobbled section to protect my leaders, I was the third leader. I looked behind after the first cobbles and there was a gap so I thought at least if I’m in the front, they have to chase me and so I kept going.”

The attack came even before the very first cobblestone section. And she defended the lead till the very end. The racing was far from boring though and the attack by Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) is a great example of that. Her pained expression could be an illustration of the whole race. However, even the great Marianne Vos had to settle for second place. Lizzie Deignan’s legs were just too strong.

Lizzie Deignan
Deignan in action. © Profimedia

“I just feel so incredibly proud,” Deignan said. “Women’s cycling is at this turning point and today is a part of history. We’re so grateful to everyone behind the scenes, and every fan watching this is also making history, it’s proving there’s the appetite for women’s cycling and the athletes can do this toughest race and I’m proud I can say I’m the first-ever winner.

“I’m so proud that this is where we are, that women’s cycling is on the world stage.”

The race has unfortunately taken its toll on another famous rider. Annemiek van Vleuten has broken her pelvis in two places in a crash during the race. We wish her the most speedy recovery.

Paris-Roubaix Femmes 2021 Results

  1. Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) – 2:56:07
  2. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) + 1:17
  3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) + 1:47
  4. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) + 1:51
  5. Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) + 2:10
  6. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar)
  7. Franziska Koch (DSM)
  8. Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo)
  9. Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
  10. Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SDWorx)

Been there, done that

The very best