Sonny Colbrelli became the first Italian to win the Paris-Roubaix Monument classic in 22 years. Caked in mud, he outsprinted his breakaway companions, Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands and Belgian Florian Vermeersch to take the victory on the finishing line in the famous Roubaix Velodrome.
sonny colbrelli of bahrain victorious wins hell of the north
The legendary course, often called ‘The Hell of the North’, started in Compiègne and covered a total distance of 257.7 kilometers. Though flat, the race is often marked by wind, and this year rain, both of which can make the 55 kilometers of cobblestones brutally treacherous. And indeed, the rain on race day created conditions not seen since 2002, the last muddy edition of the race. Soupy mud and deep puddles challenged the riders and crashes marred the peloton as it raced across northern France.
On the Front
In the Mud
Paris-Roubaix was another in a string of victories for Colbrelli this season. He won the Italian National Championship Road Race earlier this summer, and was also crowned European Champion just a few weeks ago. Claiming the Paris-Roubaix cobblestone trophy, however, is an accomplishment that has put him in truly esteemed company and ensures his place in cycling history for all time.
“It was my first Roubaix, and I can’t still believe I won it,” said Colbrelli after the race. “This morning I couldn’t think about a win. I started without any pressure, I just wanted to have fun on a race I always dreamt about. I felt well and better kilometer after kilometer. So I wanted to try to take my opportunity, attacking maybe a bit early, but I learned watching past editions that it was a good moment to try. I worked well with Van der Poel, and I was also lucky not to have any bad luck, any puncture or mechanical. I almost crashed a few times, but I was very focused to stay up. Then I gave everything that I had left to take the win. I’m speechless. I can’t believe I won the Roubaix. I want to dedicate it to my family, the whole team and my fans. It has been a fantastic season for me so far.”
Colbrelli's sunglasses & helmet
Rudy roubaix history
The last Italian to win Paris Roubaix was Andrea Tafi. The year was 1999, he was Italian National Champion, and the sunglasses were Rudy Project Tayo. To see more Rudy history moments, click here.