Paris - Roubaix 2023: Favourites

Mathieu van der Poel - Paris - Roubaix 2023: Favouritesimage: Cor VosParis-Roubaix is among the most appealing cycling contests on the calender. Half the peloton dreams of winning the race, but few are able to do so. A perfect blend of positioning, bike handling, power and tactical nous are essential to win the Hell of the North. Who are this year's major contenders?

Paris-Roubaix is a race for guys who ride through all conditions and never give up. Enter the big ‘Vans’ – Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Both are equipped with the right characteristics to win the Hell of the North. Yet, they never did – until now.

Given the brutal conditions in Paris-Roubaix, mechanical issues are unavoidable, the timing of which can be the difference between winning and losing. Van Aert is familiar with it. In 2019 he was plagued by mechanical issues and a crash, while he punctured at a bad moment last year – with 39 kilometres to go – and still sprinted to second place.

Riders who took home the cobble-stone trophy in the last decade are Dylan van Baarle (2022), Sonny Colbrelli (2021), Philippe Gilbert (2019), Peter Sagan (2018), Greg Van Avermaet (2017), Mathew Hayman (2016), John Degenkolb (2015), Niki Terpstra (2014), and Fabian Cancellara (2013). The winners of 2021, 2019, 2016, 2014 and 2013 are retired, while the winners of 2018, 2017 and 2015 are unlikely to lift the cobbled trophy in Roubaix Velodrome again.

So, the title defender is the only former winner who could add another win to his tally. If he does, the Dutchman is only halfway to matching record holders Roger De Vlaeminck and Tom Boonen.

Favourites 2023 Paris-Roubaix

**** Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel
*** Matej Mohoric, Dylan van Baarle, Christophe Laporte
** Stefan Küng, Mads Pedersen, Filippo Ganna, Kasper Asgreen
* Matteo Trentin, Sep Vanmarcke, Jasper Stuyven, Florian Vermeersch, Nils Politt

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