The Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix, lived up to its “Hell of the North” nickname with non-stop action all afternoon, as the peloton faced 54.5 kilometres of cobbles littered throughout the 257 kilometre long course. To tackle the tough terrain that lay ahead, Team Sunweb were using a special Cervélo R3 for the race.
A strong headwind at the start of the race made it nigh on impossible for a breakaway to form. Lennard Kämna was part of an early group that only gained a handful of seconds and it took over 50 kilometres for a group of three to get a gap reasonable sized gap ahead of the bunch. Casper Pedersen made it into trio on what was his Paris-Roubaix debut but with the peloton chasing behind, they were only ever given roughly 30 seconds. More tactical racing ensued before a large group of over 20 riders escaped and another Team Sunweb debutant, Cees Bol, made the split. However, given the large composition of the group and a few key teams having missed out behind, the race was all back together with over 100 kilometres remaining.
Bol, alongside Nikias Arndt and Asbjørn Kragh Andersen, were attentive at the front of the race as the day turned into a race of attrition with riders dropping out the back through the famous Trouée d’Arenberg section of cobbles. The pace continued to remain high with Bol and Arndt at the head of the peloton inside the final 60 kilometres. However, after a very tough 200 kilometres in the legs, the two Team Sunweb riders missed the crucial attack which would end up going on to form the race winning move.
Arndt was the first rider home in 44th place, while debutant Bol dug deep to finish his first Paris-Roubaix in the same group as Roy Curvers.