Eurosport expert Bradley Wiggins applauded Ineos Grenadiers after a heroic team display catapulted Dylan van Baarle to victory at Paris-Roubaix.
Beginning with Michal Kwiatkowski, who exploited the crosswinds to force a huge split in the bunch long before the cobbles were even in sight, every Ineos rider contributed to their first victory in the Hell of the North.
The septet of Van Baarle, Kwiatkowski, Filippo Ganna, Luke Rowe, Magnus Sheffield, Ben Turner and Cameron Wurf ensured pre-race favourites Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) were rarely in the frame after cutting them off in the early move.
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Van Baarle then sprang into action after a two-man break collapsed when Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) punctured with 39km remaining, inviting attacks from behind.
No one could match the Dutchman’s vicious tempo on the cobbles as he opened up a huge lead, allowing him to bask in two unopposed laps of honour when he arrived in the fabled Andre-Petrieux velodrome.
“It was incredible. What a race. Ineos played it perfectly,” said 2012 Tour de France champion Wiggins.
“When they went early on in that big move, splitting it in the crosswinds, we had never seen anything like that at Paris-Roubaix.
“It marries up with Dave Brailsford’s approach of doing things differently, breaking the traditions of this sport, and they certainly did that today.
“Dylan van Baarle, what a rider. We saw he was strong a few weeks ago in the Tour of Flanders. But today he’s got the first Paris-Roubaix for them.”
Wiggins also praised the versatility of Ineos' squad.
“They’ve certainly built a squad now which aren’t traditional classic riders,” he continued.
“These are guys are riders that also line up in the Tour de France as domestiques for the big riders like Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas.
“They’re not just the classic riders that disappear after April, they are there throughout the year.”
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