A Classic Capstone for Terpstra
Dutchman’s Thrilling Paris-Roubaix Victory Confirms OPQS’ Power, Depth and Detailed Approach to Cycling Excellence
Niki Terpstra is a big name on a big team. But on a dry, dusty and taxing day that pushed his sport’s toughest athletes to their limits, the Dutchman broke through to another level – champion of cycling’s most famous of Monuments, Paris-Roubaix. And what makes this victory – and its iconic trophy stone –more precious is that it came as a final move to an expertly executed playbook by his Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team.
When Terpstra launched his ultimately successful solo attack with about 6km remaining, OPQS already had ridden itself into a position of strength. The 112th edition of Paris-Roubaix’s 28 cobbled sectors totaling 51.1km would whittle the field down to produce a worthy winner. The final selection of 11 included formidable rivals Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan and Sep Vanmarcke for also Terpstra and OPQS teammates Tom Boonen and Zdenek Stybar. As soon as Niki Terpstra got the green light to attack he jumped on the first opportunity, holding off the chase to cross the line arm aloft at the velodrome in Roubaix.
This season Terpstra, already a top pro, has edged closer to the very top of pro cycling with victories at Tour of Qatar and Dwars door Vlaanderen and now Paris-Roubaix. What’s more, Sunday’s victory seemed the completion of a progression of greatness on the cobblestones of Northern France for Terpstra, who was seventh in Paris-Roubaix in 2012 and third a year ago.
Beyond its riders and strategy, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step also takes a systematic approach to equipment and preparation. This included recent wheel testing conducted over the Paris-Roubaix cobbles.
Terpstra’s victory came aboard Zipp bars, stems, seatpost and Zipp 303 Firerest wheels. His victory marked the third time in the past five years that the winner of Paris-Roubaix rode Zipp 303s. It's also interesting to note that each of those three victories was won with a solo attack.
All About Terpstra's Bike
Frame: Specialized S-Works Roubaix – 58cm
Photo: ©Tim de Waele