Niki Terpstra claimed the biggest victory of his career in Roubaix after he pulled away from an elite group that included Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan in sight of the iconic Roubaix velodrome. After a disappointing classics season thus far, the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider made amends to claim the ‘Queen of the Classics’.
With the lead group all playing cat and mouse, Terpstra took an opportunity to attack with six kilometres to race, riding like a man possessed to the finish to keep clear and claim a memorable win. While the chase group contained all the pre-race favourites, Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Sagan (Cannondale), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), and Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), a lack of co-operation, and fatigue, conspired to allow Terpstra the lapse in pace he needed to form a decisive gap, and ride away.
[quote_center] “When we came together in the last cobblestone section, at the end of the cobblestones, Wilfried Peeters (team director) told us if we go for the sprint we go with Tom (Boonen),” said Terpstra. [/quote_center]
“But, if you can attack, it’s always good to open the final. So it was up to me and Zdenek (Stybar) to attack and they know I like to do it.
“So, 20 seconds later I attacked. It was the good one. When I looked behind me I saw there was a gap, so it was just full gas to the finish line.”
Resigned that the victory had flown the coop with Terpstra, John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) was content to claim second, while last week’s Tour of Flanders winner Cancellara completed the podium.
“I’m so proud of this result, and of the way my team rode and supported me today,” said Degenkolb. “This is my first podium in a monument and it is such a great feeling.
1 Niki Terpstra (NED) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2 John Degenkolb (GER) Giant-Shimano 00:00:20
3 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Trek Factory Racing
4 Sep Vanmarcke (BEL) Belkin
5 Zdenek Stybar (CZE) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6 Peter Sagan (SVK) Cannondale
7 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Team Sky
8 Sebastian Langeveld (NED) Garmin-Sharp
9 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky
10 Tom Boonen (BEL) Omega Pharma-QuickStep