Paris - Roubaix 2024: Favourites

Mathieu van der Poel rvv - Paris - Roubaix 2024: Favouritesfoto: 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?

Given the brutal conditions in Paris-Roubaix, mechanical issues are unavoidable, the timing of which can be the difference between winning and losing. But, strikingly, title defender Mathieu van der Poel rarely struggles with mechanical problems. And when he hits the ground, which almost never happens, he still wins. Like in last year’s World Championships road race in Glasgow.

Mathieu van der Poel is the hot favourite to succeed himself. His bike handling skills are superior and, with his sidejob as a cyclo crosser, he has got the right credentials to excel in the Hell of the North, no matter the weather conditions. Moreover, his form is impeccable. He won the E3 Saxo Slassic and the Tour of Flanders, while he was on domestique duty to escort his team mate Jasper Philipsen to the Milan-Sanremo title. The only rider who bested him this season is Mads Pedersen. The Dane outgunned the World Champion in a two-up sprint in Gent-Wevelgem.

Riders who took home the cobble-stone trophy in the last decade are Mathieu van der Poel (2023), Dylan van Baarle (2022), Sonny Colbrelli (2021), Philippe Gilbert (2019), Peter Sagan (2018), Greg Van Avermaet (2017), Mathew Hayman (2016), John Degenkolb (2015), and Niki Terpstra (2014). Most of them are retired.

So, the title defender, Dylan van Baarle and John Degenkolb are the only contenders who could add another win to their tally. If they do, they are only halfway to matching record holders Roger De Vlaeminck and Tom Boonen. Both Heroes of Roubaix won the Hell of the North four times.

Favourites 2024 Paris-Roubaix

**** Mads Pedersen, Mathieu van der Poel
*** Tom Pidcock, Jasper Philipsen, Stefan Küng
** Iván García, Alberto Bettiol, Dylan van Baarle, Nils Politt
* Christophe Laporte, John Degenkolb, Matteo Trentin, Jonathan Milan

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