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Wout van Aert has finished seventh in a very tough edition of Paris-Roubaix. At seventy kilometres from the finish, the leader of Team Jumbo-Visma could not sneak up on the attacks by his competitors. Van Aert finished in the chasing group after a tough race.
After a fast start, a group of 31 riders separated themselves from the peloton. Edoardo Affini, Timo Roosen and Nathan Van Hooydonck were in the front group on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma and could initially follow well in the brutal weather. Wout van Aert held his own among the favourites but had to chase after narrowly avoiding a crash in the Forest of Wallers. Van Hooydonck dropped out of the front group due to a puncture. Roosen also dropped out after a rider had crashed before him. After Van Aert’s return, several riders attacked. The 27-year-old Belgian was not positioned at the front, had to give in and was unable to return to the front despite an intense chase.
"It was chaos from section 1"
Van Aert was realistic. “It was a hard day. I had calculated that a big group would leave beforehand. We had a few powerful guys in front, so our situation was fine. It was chaos from section 1, so you had to stay in front and be extra focused to avoid problems. When Mathieu van der Poel accelerated, I was too far back. That was my fault. Besides, I didn’t always have the right feeling on the cobbles. When I rode behind someone, I lost a lot of energy. Besides that, my vision got worse and worse. I’m not one hundred percent satisfied, but on the other hand, I don’t think a victory was possible today. I’m going to take a break now; it’s been a while.”