Bike handling en being at the right place at the right time, you definitely have to be gifted with those talents if you want to win the Hell of the North. Out of the riders at this year’s start a tiny minority have tasted the pleasure of winning the Hell of the North: Tom Boonen (2005, 2008, 2009, 2012), Fabian Cancellara (2006, 2010, 2013), and Niki Terpstra (2014). Riders on the podium the last three years were Sep Vanmarcke (2013) and Zdenek Stybar (2015)
Multiple World Champion Cyclo-Cross Stybar could very well be the major contender in 2016. Last year he was outsprinted by Jogn Degenkolb (nob absent), in 2014 he couldn’t do anything in the finale because his teammate Terpstra was soloing to victory, while he was brilliant in 2013 until he faced bad luck at the Carrefour de l’Arbre and saw his chances go up in a puff of smoke when he was in the lead with Cancellara and Vanmarcke. Will he serve this year a dish called cold-cobbled revenge?
Cancellara faces his last chance to win his favourite race as he is retiring in 2017. Don’t be suprised if this triggers a whole lot of extra’s in the Swiss. His early season Strade Bianche win showed he is full of ambition and in excellent form.
Boonen is a four-time winner in Roubaix, a record he shares with Roger De Vlaeminck. One more victory and he will be the sole record holder…
Favourites Paris-Roubaix 2016
*** Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Zdenek Stybar
** Peter Sagan, Sep Vanmarcke, Lars Boom, Niki Terpstra
* Alexander Kristoff, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Ian Stannard
Paris-Roubaix 2016: Route, cobbles and more
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