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The European champion, the Italian Sonny Colbrelli, won the legendary Paris-Roubaix race on Sunday in his first participation, in extreme conditions. He beat the Belgian Florian Vermeersch and the Dutch Mathieu van der Poel.
Rain, mud, slippery cobbles and falls in series … the “queen of the classics” has been faithful this year to her reputation as the hell of the North “and it is the European champion, the Italian Sonny Colbrelli who won it, Sunday October 3, for its first participation.
Colbrelli (Bahrain) beat his last two companions, the Belgian Florian Vermeersch and the Dutch Mathieu van der Poel, in a sprint in the velodrome of Roubaix, before collapsing, screaming his joy, on the lawn.
Irresistible since the spring, the Italian removed his first “monument” at the age of 31. Although with around thirty victories to his credit, he had never yet been on the podium of a great classic.
Behind the trio, the Italian Gianni Moscon, who had glimpsed success until a puncture 30 kilometers from the finish and then a crash, took fourth place 44 seconds behind his compatriot.
The Belgian Wout van Aert, one of the big favorites, placed 7e in a group ruled by his compatriot Yves Lampert (5e) ahead of Frenchman Christophe Laporte (6e).
“The race of my dreams”
On the soggy and muddy cobblestones, van der Poel made a strong impression in a race that turned to the disadvantage of his great rival, Belgian Wout van Aert, and number one team, Deceuninck.
Generous and lavish of his efforts, van der Poel found himself alone in the pursuit group behind Moscon, who left alone to attack 53 kilometers from the finish. He could not then cause the decision in the trio of neophytes who fought for the victory.
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Colbrelli is the second rider to win the “queen of the classics” in his first participation. Apart from the German Josef Fischer who opened the prize list in 1896, the Frenchman Jean Forestier is the only neophyte, in 1955, to have won from his beginnings.
“It’s the race of my dreams with the Tour of Flanders”, exulted the winner. “I followed van der Poel in the final, I did a great sprint. I focused on van der Poel but the guy from Lotto-Soudal (Vermeersch) almost surprised me. I managed to switch to 25 meters from the finish. “
The Lombard rider succeeds the Belgian Philippe Gilbert, winner in 2019 and this time behind before the halfway mark. He signed the 12e Italian victory, but the first in the XXIe century (Andrea Tafi, last Italian winner in 1999).