Was this Paris-Roubaix irresponsible? “It is also life-threatening in dry weather”

Glide over slippery cobblestone strips. Paris-Roubaix was a bit of madness on Sunday. Is that justified? Especially at a time when it is so often about safety in the race. Little complaining from the peloton. Precisely because it is this match.

By Daniel Dwarswaard

Niki Terpstra, winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2014, has just driven 270 kilometers through the mud. Over smooth stones and through puddles. He saw riders crying in pain on the side of the road. He saw support vehicles stuck in mudslides. The 37-year-old veteran enters out of time at the historic velodrome in Roubaix. Yet. Yet you can see from his face: he is intensely happy that he once drove a wet edition of Paris-Roubaix.

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Het peloton gaat glibberend op weg naar Roubaix. © BELGA

How does a dangerous Paris-Roubaix relate to the increasingly louder call from the peloton for more attention to safety in the race? Terpstra does not start on its own about the theme that has been such a tricky subject in the race, especially in recent years. Last Tour de France, the riders issued a statement after the Tour organization had the peloton finish via a descent in the dangerous streets of Pontivy. And of course there was the, now canceled, finish in the Tour of Poland. A sprint slightly downhill, where Fabio Jakobsen was fatally injured after a crash with Dylan Groenewegen last year.

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