The Belgian World Team concluded its cobble classics campaign in a stunning way this Sunday on the occasion of the 119th edition of Paris-Roubaix (1.UWT), the fastest in history. A first decision in Hell of North waas already made in the first race hour following crosswinds, splitting the peloton in two parts.
Before the first of thirty cobble sections, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was represented by four riders in the front: Tom Devriendt, Andrea Pasqualon, Baptiste Planckaert and Kévin Van Melsen. After more than three hours of chasing, both pelotons came together again with 100 kilometer to go.
Meanwhile, Tom Devriendt was isolated in the front with four other riders and they formed the « breakaway » of this edition. The 30 year old Belgian was the first rider to cover the Trouée d’Arenberg as they left one member of their group behind. One minute later, a strongly reduced peloton with six riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux followed on this first five starred section.
The advantage of the breakaway with Devriendt culminated at 2 minutes before a group of counterattackers was born with 55 kilometer to go on section 13 in Auchy. In this group of around ten riders, Adrien Petit was accompanied by Taco van der Hoorn until the Dutchman punctured.
Following the succession of cobble sections and mechanicals of his competitors, Tom Devriendt led Paris-Roubaix solo with 40 kilometer to go. His 100 kilometer effort in front of the race lasted until the section in Mons-en-Pévèle. The Belgian rider then followed the group led by Wout Van Aert until the velodrome, enabling him to sprint for second place.
By crossing the line in fourth position, Tom Devriendt offered the best result in the team’s history in a Monument. His teammate Adrien Petit was also impressive and took sixth place. The best French rider at the finish obtained his best result in eleven participations.
The only team with two riders in the top ten was also represented by four others among the 25 best riders, thanks to Alexander Kristoff (12th), Taco van der Hoorn (16th), Andrea Pasqualon (19th) and Baptiste Planckaert (23rd). Kévin Van Melsen, who became father for the second time earlier this week, finished his third Paris-Roubaix in 56th position.