Paris Roubaix 2017 can be surmised in one word: aggressive.
We can definitely add a few more in (explosive, exciting, energetic) but aggressive is the most apt a choice for describing the 115th edition of the spring classic, a favourite amongst many dedicated cycling fans and riders themselves.
A tactical race from the starting line, it saw the fortunes of many pre-race picks dramatically change before entering onto the track of the Roubaix velodrome. Peter Sagan and retiring favourite, Tom Boonen, rode the race primarily at the front in a breakaway group that stayed away the majority of the race. The unlucky World Champion suffered two wheel changes in the monument that played into a disappointing result for the Slovakian, eventually finishing in 38th place.
Boonen, in his last race as a professional cyclist, finished outside of the top 10 in 13th position after what was hyped up to be a fairy tale ending to an emphatic career as the monuments man.
In-form Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet took line honours in the race, coming in ahead of Zdnek Stybar and Sebastian Langeveld. While the Belgian rider was counted among the favourites, a crash with 100km remaining which required a bike change placed him at a disadvantage and dampened his race start. Yet Van Avermaet prevailed in the dusty conditions to take his greatest result at the race to add to a third place in 2015 and a fourth in 2015. John Degenkolb rounded out the top 10 finishers.
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