We were promised a Classic, and a Classic – for the most part – was what we received at the 112th edition of the Hell of the North.
The season’s third Monument race was incident-packed – crashes, attacks, counter-attacks and a few performances to upset the apple cart.
All that was lacking was an enthralling finale, a la 2013, but Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) will not mind one bit, having found himself without company as he soloed into the Roubaix velodrome.
His daring late attack capped a great race for the Belgian super team – and a good week – as they put the disappointment of the Tour of Flanders behind them.
But as the cobbled Classics end and attention is turned to Ardennes, where does it leave us?
Read our five observations over the following pages, and add your own in the RCUK Forum.