It’s the Queen of the Classics and Paris-Roubaix 2019 did not disappoint. With the peloton hitting full gas from Kilometre 0, the race ebbed and flowed with chaos and echelons all day long. With no break being allowed to get
for very long, the peloton went full pelt through the cobbled sectors until Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Katusha’s Nils Politt made the move that broke the race apart, as they were joined by defending champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), Sep Vanmarcke (EF-Education First), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and PhilGil’s teammate Yves Lampaert. Working together until about 10km to go, it was soon down to Gilbert and Politt, with the Belgian winning the sprint in the Velodrome. Lampaert came third. That was the short version of what happened … but whoa, this race gave so much more than a victory.
A Basque rider hasn’t won this stage race since 2003, but Ion Izagirre took his chances today, handily supported by his Astana team, and took the final prize. Izagirre was part of an audacious five-man group, all with podium ambitions, that got away 65kms from the finish in today’s final stage, managing to sufficiently distance Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) in yellow and maintain its advantage to the line. While the stage was won by Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Izagirre, greatly assisted by teammate Jakob Fuglsang, finished a single second back in fourth place but with enough of a margin to take the overall from Dan Martin (UAE Emirates), second on the stage and second overall. After some misdirection at the finish and much confusion, over an hour after the race had finished, former race leader Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) rounded out the podium (but Fuglsang got the Cava celebration).
It was the start of Holy Week on Sunday, the week that Classics fans wait anxiously for every season. It begins with the Ronde van Vlaanderen and finishes next Sunday with Paris-Roubaix. So let us ride over the cobbles and hellingen in the Twitterstream and bring you the best of the bunch.