Tom Boonen will make his 14th and final appearance at the "Hell of the North", where he'll vie for a fifth victory which would give him the outright record.
Paris-Roubaix will run this year its 115th edition, one which will see the peloton take on 29 cobblestone sectors, including the iconic Trouée d'Arenberg (2400 meters), Mons-en-Pévèle (3000 meters) and Carrefour de l'Arbre (2100 meters), the latter set to feature on the route less than 20 kilometers from the finish, its positioning in such a key part of the race being synonym to one last opportunity for the attackers to shake up the race and go for a solo win on the famed André-Pétrieux Velodrome.
15 years after stealing the show in his first ever Paris-Roubaix with a spectacular ride – made even more impressive by the fact he was a neo-pro at that time – on the muddy and treacherous cobbles of the race which more experienced men couldn't tame, Tom Boonen will bid farewell to the sport at the "Hell of the North", where he'll try to win his fifth trophy – following the ones of 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2012 – in what is sure to be an emotional day for the Belgian legend and symbol of Quick-Step Floors.
Joining Tom Boonen in his final outing as a pro for the 257km-long race between Compiègne and Roubaix will be Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse, Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Yves Lampaert, 2015 runner-up Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra – who triumphed on the velodrome three years ago – Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote, riders who between them have amassed nearly 30 participations in Paris-Roubaix.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele