The great classic French Paris-Roubaix novel isn’t called “Hell in the North” for nothing.
One of cycling’s biggest legends had an agonizing run on the cobblestones on Sunday, already when there were 150km to go before crossing the finish line in the industrial city of Roubaix near the border with Belgium.
Then Slovakian Peter Sagan (33), one of several riders, fell off the road on the left-hand side and was in a lot of pain. Sagan confirmed this winter that the 2023 season will be his last on the World Tour, the highest level of international road cycling.
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And the television pictures clearly showed that the famous Slovakian got out of the dance.
– It worked well. TV 2 expert Thor Hushovd commented that Paris-Roubaix’s last game was over, before he was interrupted by yet another coup at the front of Center Court.
Wet and dangerous
The slippery road in northern France has posed problems for the world’s elite cyclists both on the cobbled sections and on the tarmac.
A few minutes after Peter Sagan’s accident, his team also confirmed that the Slovak star had to stop the race.
“The end of the race for Peter Sagan,” writes Team Total Energies Twitter.
Sagan won Paris Roubaix in 2018, when he was still at the peak of his career. He also won three World Cup golds in the joint start, as well as the Tour de France green points jersey seven times.
Also in Flanders earlier this year, the 33-year-old had to collapse after tipping over. Next year, he will aim to win Olympic gold in mountain biking during the Summer Games in Paris.
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Paris-Roubaix is one of the top five classics during the cycling season. In the 120th edition of the one-day race on Sunday, a total of seven Norwegians will take part.
Edvald Boasson Hagen is also riding for Total Energies, with Sagan standing in as team captain. The Rudsbygd veteran distinguishes himself early on by being ahead of the main field on a short break before being brought back.
Alexander Kristoff is Norway’s biggest starting hope, and among others he has four other Norwegians with him as captain of the Norwegian professional Uno-X team. These four are Norwegian champion Rasmus Teller, last year’s world champion in the U23 category, Soren Wernskjöld, Christopher Halvorsen and Erik Nordcenter Rissel.
In addition, there is another Norwegian professional player, Veegard Steek Langen, in the UAE team.
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