Dutch rider Niki Terpstra wins his first Paris-Roubaix after dropping star studded bunch in finale. The 29 year old Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider launched an audacious attack only 6km from the finish, Cancellara, Degenkolb, Vanmarcke and Boonen were either unable or unwilling to respond and Terpstra went on to win Paris-Roubaix by 20 seconds from the large bunch of eight favourites. It was a well deserved victory by Terpstra who was one of the favourites going into the race.

The race started under a grey but dry sky in Compeigne. The break took only 3km to establish and after one hour of racing the eight riders had covered 48.6km and had 4.40 on the peloton, the eight attackers were David Boucher (FDJ.fr), Kenny de Haes (Lotto Belisol), Andreas Schillinger (NetApp-Endura), Michael Kolar (Tinkoff-Saxo), Clément Koretzky (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Benoit Jarrier (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), Tim De Troyer (Wanty – Groupe Gobert) and John Murphy (UnitedHealthCare).


Two hours into the race the early break hit the first section of cobbles with and average speed of 46 km/h and the gap to the peloton was at almost nine minutes. After the next two sections of cobbles (27 and 26) the gap was reduced to 7.30. Boonen punctured in section 26 and France’s Arnaud Demare (FDJ), one of his country’s best chances also punctured, then got caught up in a crash at the back of the peloton.

A big crash happened at 106 km that included Greg Van Avaermat, there seemed to be no damage but riders were held up. Shortly afterwards Peter Sagan had a mechanical or puncture, team mate Marangoni was quickly on hand to pace Sagan back to the bunch. At sector 19 S Haveluy to Wallers, Sky controlled the front of the race protecting their lead riders Geraint Thomas and Brad Wiggins, all the favourites were sitting near the front of the field apart from Sagan who by now had re-joined the bunch at the back. As the break approached d’Arenberg David Boucher punctured.

Trouée d’Arenberg

The break still had 4.45 with only 95km to go, de Haes punctured part way through the Arenberg sector, Boucher had punctured just short of the sector and shortly after the rest of the break splintered apart. The main bunch entered the Arenberg forest with Bernhard Eisel still in second wheel, Kristoff punctured. Rast had a mechanical and had to wait for the team car.

The favourites mostly got through the Arenberg Forest without problem with only Kristoff suffering a puncture. The breakaway bunch was cut down to four riders, Murphy, Jarrier, Schillinger and De Troyer.

At the 82.2km to go Hayden Roulston caused a huge crash at the front of the peloton bring down a large number of riders, it happened after touching the curb on the left hand side of the road. As the peloton entered Hornaing to Wandignies, Boonen and Terpstra hit the front and split the bunch apart, big gaps appeared all the way down the bunch. After the sector Thor Hushovd accelerated causing another split taking a bunch of riders with him.

With 70km to go the break of four riders was down to 1.45 as the bunch entered Tilloy to Sars-et-Rosières. Edvald Boasson Hagen crashed and had to wait for the team car. Murphy dropped out of the break with a flat tyre. As the break entered Beuvry-la-Forêt to Orchies the break of three was down to under a minute. In the peloton Boonen had another go alone off the front and quickly caught the group between the break and the peloton that also included Thomas.

The Boonen – Thomas group of nine caught the three man break before Orchies making a break of twelve entering sector 12. Boonen gestured for the other riders to work with him but they weren’t having much of that. 18 seconds behind BMC were riding at the front of the peloton for Taylor Phinney. Behind Phinney was Cancellara. Behind Cancellara, Terpstra was getting a free ride with team mate Boonen in the break up front.

50km to go – Mons-en-Pévèle

Thor Husovd caught Boonen, Thomas, Bert De Backer and Yannick Martinez just before the start of sector 10. The large peloton was only 15 seconds back. By the end of the 3km sector the gap was out to 26 seconds and the peloton now had a sense of urgency with Trek and Belkin leading the chase.

By the time the leaders entered sector 8 they had a 46 second lead. As the peloton hit the cobbles Sep Vanmaerke gapped the bunch, Cancellara responded bringing the rest of the bunch with him. In a little over two minutes they halved the gap to the break in front. As the peloton briefly sat up Peter Sagan appeared and went off the front taking a Belkin rider with him. At the same time Boonen went of the front of the lead group.

Entering sector 6 Cysoing to Bourghelles the gap was down to 18 seconds, Cancellara and Vanmaerke were looking comfortable, Sagan was not get any cooperation sitting in between the leaders and the peloton with an unwilling Belkin rider. Sector 5. Cancellara puts the hammer down and closes the gap, Boonen appeared to get the radio message and sat up.When it seemed inevitable the groups would reform Sagan attacked and quickly gains a 12 second lead by the end of Camphin-en-Pévèle sector.

Carrefour de l’Arbre – 16km to go

Sagan entered the sector first holding a 4 second gap. He got caught about half way through the sector by the Cancellara chase group including Vanmaerke, Stybar, and Degenkolb, forming a five strong lead group. With 8km to go the two lead groups reformed making a bunch of ten.


With 6km to go Niki Terpstra launched his attack and never looked back, he gained a gap so quickly that the result didn’t seem in doubt even at the 5km to go, Terpstra was leaving nothing on the road, the pain and evident with each grimace. At one point he stretched the gap out to 29 seconds and eventually crossed the line for his first Paris-Roubaix title 20 seconds in front of the nine rider bunch. John Degenkolb continues to impress finishing second with Fabian Cancellara in third.

Enjoy the final ten kilometres of the race

Top Ten Results
Paris-Roubaix 2014

1. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Shimano at 20 secs
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) 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) Team Sky
10. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at same time

Race report by TBL – The Bike Lane


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