Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet needed a thrilling sprint finish to claim his first win at Paris-Roubaix, the race known as the ‘Hell of the North’. The Belgian needed the final metres of the 257.5km one-day classic to claim glory. The 31-year-old just got ahead of the Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar, with Sebastian Langeveld of the Netherlands third in a five-way sprint. While van Avermaet revelled in his first 'monuments’ title, there was heartache for his compatriot Tom Boonen who - competing in his final race before retirement - was denied his dream of a fifth Paris-Roubaix win.
I felt very good all day even though I suffered a lot – but with the victory now I don’t feel the pain.
Greg van Avermaet