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April 14, 2015
Photography by Kristof Ramon & Cor Vos
Few races on the WorldTour calendar capture the imagination quite like Paris-Roubaix. The culmination of several weeks of cobbled racing in Belgium and France, the ‘Hell of the North’ is an early-season target for many riders, a technical challenge for bike and equipment manufacturers and a captivating spectacle for fans of the sport.
Where the Tour of Flanders of a week earlier features short, cobbled climbs, Paris-Roubaix’s cobblestone sectors are flat but far, far rougher. On Sunday, the riders faced 27 such sectors as they made their way from Compiègne, roughly 80km north of Paris, to Roubaix, near the Belgian border.
Winning the sprint from a group of six riders on the famous Roubaix velodrome, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) became just the second German to win the race (Josef Fischer won the first edition way back in 1896) and the first rider to win Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in the same year, since Sean Kelly achieved the same feat in 1986.
What follows is a gallery of images from Sunday’s race, courtesy of Kristof Ramon and the Cor Vos photo agency.