The 2017 Paris-Roubaix was Monumental in more ways than one, with a clutch of Six Day Series riders playing their part in the fastest-ever edition of the famous cobbled classic.
Nearly 200 competitors lined up for Sunday’s 256.2km race from Compiegne to the northern French city of Roubaix and winner Greg Van Avermaet – gold medallist in the men’s road race at Rio 2016 – clocked an average speed of 45.2km, bettering veteran Six Day rider Peter Post’s record set back in 1964.
When the action reached a crescendo at the Velodrome Andre-Petrieux, Belgium’s van Avermaet went into overdrive and beat Czech Republic's Zdenek Stybar in the final metres to seal a dramatic sprint-finish success.
Seven Six Day Series competitors put themselves through the ‘Hell of the North’, although on this occasion they couldn't put themselves in the mix for the podium places.
London 2015 third-place finisher Iljo Keisse was the best performer, crossing the line 44th overall.
Pim Ligthart, who finished fifth overall alongside Jens Mouris in this season’s overall standings, was 52nd while fellow Dutchman Wesley Kreder was 80th.
Jon Dibben was the final Six Day Series finisher, and last man to cross the line overall, but he unfortunately finished outside the time limit.
Scratched,bruised,stitched,blue and stiff after yesterday's crash. Still I feel myself lucky not… https://t.co/WsTBgwRZkR— Niki Terpstra (@NikiTerpstra) April 10, 2017
In 2014, Niki Terpstra enjoyed his moment in the sun with a stirring victory at Paris-Roubaix – one of the cycling world’s five ‘Monument’ races – but he was a long way off in his efforts to add a second mounted cobble stone prize to his mantelpiece.
Dutchman Terpstra, who sealed a podium finish at the Tour of Fladers earlier this month, crashed out this time around, with Belgian Gijs van Hoecke and Michael Morkov, of Denmark, also not finishing.