Title holder Sonny Colbrelli entered 2022 with his eyes firmly set on the Classics, but after he collapsed at the finish of the Volta a Catalunya’s 1st stage things look totally different. There will be no defending his title after last year’s Roubaix success. Instead, he needed a subcutaneous defibrillator implantation operation and will be happy to return to competitive racing once he is recovered.
A huge throwback after an exceptional 2021 campaign, which brought him the Italian title, European title and the GC win at the Benelux Tour before he lifted the cobbled trophy in Roubaix Velodrome. Colbrelli timed his sprint perfectly to pip young Florian Vermeersch and the impressive Mathieu van der Poel, who had done most of the work during the race.
The muddy conditions of October 2021 will not be repeated, as the prospect is calm spring weather. But, regardless of the conditions, Paris-Roubaix remains one of the toughest one-day races on the calendar. A perfect blend of positioning, bike handling, power and tactical nous are essential to win the Hell of the North. But let’s not forget a large slice of luck either. Given the conditions, mechanical issues are unavoidable in Roubaix, the timing of which can be the difference between winning and losing.
Riders who took home the cobble-stone trophy in the last decade are Sonny Colbrelli (2021), Philippe Gilbert (2019), Peter Sagan (2018), Greg Van Avermaet (2017), Mathew Hayman (2016), John Degenkolb (2015), Niki Terpstra (2014), Fabian Cancellara (2013), and Tom Boonen (2012).
Favourites 2022 Paris-Roubaix
**** Mathieu van der Poel, Stefan Küng
*** Wout van Aert, Kasper Asgreen, Mads Pedersen
** Tiesj Benoot, Dylan van Baarle, Filippo Ganna, Jasper Stuyven
* Florian Vermeersch, Yves Lampaert, Ben Turner, Christophe Laporte