Once used to crushing the Tour de France in a soporific way, the British team now shines in one-day races, supported by a workforce invigorated by young nuggets. This Sunday, it was the experienced 29-year-old Dutchman who conquered the “Hell of the North”.
Three out of three in a week. Revealed as the best team in the world on the Tour de France (seven victories over the last ten editions, with four different men), the British formation Ineos Grenadiers now reigns over one-day races. Dutchman Dylan Van Baarle, 29, won alone this Sunday at the Roubaix velodrome. A week ago, his Polish teammate Michal Kwiatkowski won the Amstel Gold Race, while the young American Magnus Sheffield won the Brabant Arrow on Wednesday. A collective force still visible throughout the 257 kilometers of the classic northerner, part of Compiègne this Sunday morning and quickly scattered with the British collective in charge.
At the front of the race, they were always one step ahead of the two big favorites of the day, the Dutchman Mathieu Van der Poel and the Belgian Wout Van Aert. Surprising, for those who have been accustomed to seeing the British routine crush the competition in the summer torpor with programmed efforts down to the watt? Not that much. Eighteen months ago, the boss of Ineos, Dave Brailsford, theorized the thing: “Sport is about emotions and the exhilarating moments of a race. That’s what we want to do.” Between wanting and being able, there is a step, which the Grenadiers quickly took, with targeted recruitment towards young nuggets capable of igniting these spring races.
It was about twenty kilometers from the finish, in the cobbled sector of Camphin-en-Pévèle, that Van Baarle let go of the men accompanying him, the indestructible Slovenian Mohoric and the Belgian Lampaert in particular. In its own way, smoothly, but with a certain power. He even has the luxury of completing his lap and a half on the Roubaix velodrome solo, barely welcoming the finish line crossed by his boss, Dave Brailsford. Fifteen days after his second place on the other myth of spring, the Tour of Flanders, Van Baarle is close to a more than prized double. Behind, Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), just returned from the Covid, and the Swiss Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) complete the podium.