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Road Racing

Photo epic: Mathieu van der Poel claims his first Paris-Roubaix

Ashley and Jered Gruber captured the action from northern France.

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After this last weekend, Mathieu van der Poel could quit racing for the year and still finish with a career season.

The Dutch rider added a Paris-Roubaix cobblestone to his trophy case Sunday, capturing his second monument of the season after winning Milan-San Remo last month.

The latest monument came in memorable fashion as Van der Poel made a strong select group then outpowered them on the final five-star cobbled sector of the race, Carrefour de l’arbre. Fans will surely lament for years to come what could have been in if Wout van Aert, the only rider left chasing Van der Poel, hadn’t suffered an ill-timed puncture exiting that sector. Others still will question what 2015 winner John Degenkolb would have done had he not crashed out on the very same sector.

But that is the cruel nature of Paris-Roubaix, and that is why we watch.

This year’s edition had more than its share of dramatic moments, and Ashley and Jered Gruber were in northern France to capture the moments that defined the race.

Enjoy this 2023 Paris-Roubaix race gallery!

Also read: Photo Epic: Paris-Roubaix Femmes 2023

Rolling into the velodrome a lap behind Van der Poel, Wout van Aert had to watch his longtime rival celebrate the win. (Photo: Gruber Images)

The five-star Trouée d’Arenberg sector makes for a spectacle for many reasons beyond its particularly unforgiving cobbles. (Photo: Gruber Images)

The flag of Flanders always makes its way south of the border. (Photo: Gruber Images)

These fans have the right idea, though. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Roubaix is brutal. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Jumbo-Visma had a strong start to the classics, but couldn’t make it happen in the two most important races of spring. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Greg Van Avermaet found something to smile about at the finish. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Van der Poel pulling away from his longtime rival Wout van Aert. A puncture for Van Aert would rob us of a battle for first. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Van der Poel was on the limit and then some around the corners. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Wout mask = nightmare fuel. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Mads Pedersen put in work to help establish the day’s elite break. (Photo: Gruber Images)

The Roubaix showers are an iconic part of the sport. (Photo: Gruber Images)

Paris-Roubaix is one of the must-see events for cycling fans. (Photo: Gruber Images)
(Photo: Gruber Images)

Wout van Aert watches his chances slip away as he exits the Carrefour de l’Arbre with a flat tire. (Photo: Gruber Images)
(Photo: Gruber Images)

Jasper Philipsen rounds a corner with John Degenkolb in tow. (Photo: Gruber Images)
(Photo: Gruber Images)
(Photo: Gruber Images)

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.