Roubaix ’22 – Unique performance?

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Will Mathieu van der Poel become the 6th cyclist in history who finishes on the podium of Ronde van Vlaanderen ánd Paris-Roubaix in two consecutive seasons?

After two strange years, the Hell off the North is held in spring again. On Sunday the 17th of April the peloton will conquer the coblles in (probably) dry and dusty conditions. Who will become the winner of the 119th edtion of Paris-Roubaix?

A statisitcal preview based on results at FirstCycling and ProCyclingStats. More stats featured in @WielerOrakel podcast (Dutch).

Victory in Flanders ánd Roubaix?

With a victory in Paris-Roubaix 2022, Mathieu van der Poel will be the 11th rider in history who wins both Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix in the same season.

Winners of Paris-Roubaix and Ronde van Vlaanderen in the same seasons

Only Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara got ‘the double win’ twice. Since Cancellara and Boonen, both Niki Terpstra and Greg Van Avermaet came close two winning both cobbled-monuments in the same year. GVA finished 2nd in RVV’17 while winning all other big cobbled-classics that year and Terpstra couldn’t follow Sagan and Dillier after his E3 and RVV win in 2018.

Will Mathieu be the next rider to win two of the most prestigous races in the same season? After his win in ‘de Ronde’, Mathieu seems to have his focus on Roubaix since he admitted that it took some time to get it going again for a good performance in the Amstel Gold Race. He hopes to be 100% on Sunday on the cobbles between Paris and Roubaix.

MVDP – 6th cyclist in history?

Mathieu and his father Adrie van der Poel are both on the list of 33 cyclists who finished top-3 in Flanders and Roubaix in the same season. Given his current form, it is quite possible that Mathieu will write history and outperform Adrie on Sunday by finishing on the podium of Roubaix.

Cyclists finishing on the podium in Ronde van Vlaanderen ánd Paris-Roubaix in two consecutive seasons

A top-3 result on Sunday will add Mathieu van der Poel to a unique list of 5 riders who finished on the podium of Flanders ánd Roubaix in two consecutive seasons. Last year Mathieu lost two sprints and finished 2nd in Flanders and 3rd in Roubaix. In ‘De Ronde’ of 2022, he won his second monument and now there’s only Paris-Roubaix left before MVDP adds to cycling history. Eddy Merckx was the first to finish top-3 in both monuments in two consecutive years, and after him Tschmil, Museeuw, Boonen and Cancellara (twice) finished on the podium of the 2 monuments in 2 consecutive seasons. Cancellara crashed in the Ronde van Vlaanderen of 2012. Would he, without that unfortunate crash caused by a bottle, have finished top-3 in both races for 5 seasons in a row? We will never know.

I hear you screaming: but MVDP did not ride Flanders and Roubaix within 8 days like the others in the list. I know, and I agree it’s diffferent, but I don’t know whether it is more or less difficult to do well in Flanders and Roubaix with a longer time-span between those races. One could argue both ways: it’s impressive to do well in both races, regardless wether there is 1 week, 2 weeks or 6 months between them.

Records in Paris-Roubaix

Records in Paris-Roubaix, most starts and top-results (all time and active riders)
Records in Paris-Roubaix, most starts and top-results (all time and active riders)

Mathew Hayman, George Hincapie and Fréderic Guesdon have started most often in Paris-Roubaix; 17 appearances. Erviti is going to participate for the 17th time as well in 2022 and is the active rider with most starts and finishes in ‘the Hell of the North’. Mathew Hayman won at his 15th appearance in Paris-Roubaix. He also raced the ‘Hell of the North’ in 2017 and 2018, but his 15th participation was his most impressive: outsprinting Tom Boonen who was going to be the only cyclist in history with 5 wins in Roubaix. Boonen tried to win his 5th cobble again in 2017 (13th in his last pro-race), but was not as close as in 2016 sprinting for the win against Vanmarcke, Hayman, Stannard and Boasson Hagen. Next to Boonen, also De Vlaeminck won 4 times, followed by Lapize, Rebry, Van Looy, Moser, Merckx, Museeuw en Cancellara with 3 wins each.

De Vlaeminck is record holder with 13 top-10’s, followed by Boonen (11), among the active cyclists, the two with most top-10’s never won Roubaix. Stybar finished 6 times with the best 10, Vanmarcke 5 times.

Performances of active pros in Paris-Roubaix
Previous performances in Paris-Roubaix by active pros

How did active pros perform in previous editions? 6 active pros have won in Roubaix and 8 more have finished on the podium on the piste in Roubaix. Most successfull active pro in Roubaix Niki Terpstra with 1 win and 2 podium-finishes, closely followed by Greg Van Avermaet with 4 to-10’s as well. Besides Stybar and Vanmarcke (6 and 5 top-10’s without a win), Langeveld (4 top-10’s) and Lampaert (3 top-10’s) are most-succesful Roubaix-specialists without at victory. Will one of them change the stats by having an exceptional good day on the bike on Sunday.

Age and weith: old and heavy to be successfull?

Average age of top-finishers in biggest one-day races
Average age of top-finishers in biggest one-day races

Winners between 2016 and 2021 were on average oldest in Paris-Boubaix compared to the other big classics. While winners of Strade Bianche were 26 years of age, Roubaix-winners were 33 on average. Roubaix is also the big one-day race with the oldest top-3 and top-10. The podium and top-10 were on average heaviest in Paris-Roubaix as well, while the winners in Gent-Wevelgem were on average heaver than in ‘the Hell of the North’.

Average weight of top-finishers in biggest one-day races
Average weight of top-finishers in biggest one-day races

Youngest participant

In the past 50 editions Eddy Lembo from Algeria was with 19 years and 151 days the youngest participant in 2000. More recently, Tanguy Turgis was young with 19 years and 327 days. This season, Magnus Sheffield could become the third youngest participant since 1970 with 19 years and 363 days on Sunday the 17th of April. Sagan and Luis Leon Sanchez were also among the youngest Roubaix-participans at their debute (2010 and 2004).

The oldest winner in Roubax was Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle in 1993 with 38 years and 230 days while Albert Champion is the youngest winner in history: 1899 at 20 years and 362 days.

Piste.. solo?

1997 was the last edition in which Paris-Roubaix was won by someone sprinting on the piste in a group with more than 6 cyclists. In past 15 seasons the winner arrived solo or in a small group at the piste in Roubaix. In 2014, Niki Terpstra was the last winner arriving solo in Roubaix. Since that edition it have been duos or small groups sprinting for the victory.

Before 2014 it occured more often that someone won by a solo (2006-2012 and 1998-2002), 12 out of 23 editions since 1998.

Paris-Roubaix coming up. Will MVDP add to cycling history? And will we get a clash between him and Wout van Aert? A statistical preview by @StatsOnCycling at

Will Mathieu van der Poel write history in the 2022 edition of Paris-Roubaix? And will we get another clash between him and Wout van Aert? Let us know what you think on Twitter

Note: Cycling Statistics (@statsoncycling) is a regular guest in the ‘WielerOrakel podcast (WielerOrakel podcast on Spotify)’, a Dutch podcast in which cycling-fans Tom and Thomas will rejoice in the next big races on the mcalendar. The podcast will feature guest-appearances of Arjan Zoer (ZoerCyclingStat) and us (StatsOnCycling). Today a look at previous performances in Paris-Roubaix.

Published by statsoncycling

Cycling Statistics is an initiative by Daniël Herbers. From Maastricht (Netherlands) he talks and speculates about performances and developments in cycling with fellow cycling-addicts Jesper, Sjef and Sander. Cycling Statistics (@statsoncycling) aims to share and highlight unique performances and provide useful insights in male pro-cycling. Daniël is a runner and biker, lives with his wife and three children in Maastricht and is employed at Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek).

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