It was an emotional rollercoaster of a week – from Thibaut Pinot being pipped at the finish one day to taking a stage win the next day in Tour of the Alps to Romain Bardet sacrificing his chances at LBL to help a seriously injured Julian Alaphilippe. We also have the newest LBL victor and an Ardennes legend who has ridden his final spring classic. Plus a few old friends in the gruppetto. Go!
Hold the front page! Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s lacklustre spring campaign regained it’s sparkle as Remco Evenepoel claimed La Doyenne on his race debut. The 22 year-old made his bid with a ferocious attack at the summit of La Redoute with 29km to go. No one could hold his wheel for long enough, no one could organise an effective chase and no one could stop the inevitable solo victory. Quentin Hermans, yes you read that right!!!! , took the sprint for 2nd place for the effervescent Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert, with the man-who-refused-to-stay-dropped – Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) – claiming third step on the all Belgian podium. An awful high speed crash with 60km to go left many riders with their race ambitions in tatters and a heavy fall for world champion Julian Alaphilippe.
Paris Roubaix is always a race that defies predictions. But this year, oooh lala, the weekend of cobbles really gave us one of the wildest rides in a long time. This is a melange of tweets, loosely categorised (very loosely), with plenty of tweets from fans during the action. Confusion reigned and it was GLORIOUS. [Lots of f-bombs in this column, by the way.]