Daring, opportunistic, audacious – call it what you will, the fact of the matter is that Niki Terpstra’s late solo bid for glory at Paris-Roubaix was a race-winning move.
Breaking clear of an elite leading group, the Dutchman’s attack saw him ride solo into the Roubaix velodrome to the biggest victory of his career.
An incident-packed race had lived up to its billing as a Classic in all senses of the word – crashes, attacks aplenty and a strong ride from Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) to boot.
The day belonged to Omega Pharma-Quickstep’s Terpstra however, and photographer Stefano Sirotti was on hand to capture the action.
Check out his great photos in the full-screen gallery below.
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Guess who's back
Bradley Wiggins delivered a performance at Roubaix that was arguably his best since winning the 2012 Tour de France pic: ©Sirotti
Not like the valleys
Geraint Thomas was in good form for Team Sky during the cobbled Classics (pic: Sirotti)
John Degenkolb and Fabian Cancellara tackle the brutal pavé of the Arenberg Forest with a four-man breakaway still up the road (pic: Sirotti)
Alexander Kristoff suffers an ill-timed puncture in the Arenberg Forest (pic: Sirotti)
Marcus Burghardt and Gregvan Avermaet come to grief on the fearsome pave - proof, if any was needed, of the brutal nature of the cobbles (pic: Sirotti)
Crashes were, as ever, a regular feature of the race (pic: Sirotti)
...with several team suffering sit downs (pic: Sirotti)
The leading contenders all made breaks for freedom, with Sep Vanmarcke launching an assault on the twisting cobbled road from Pont to Thibau (pic: Sirotti)
Peter Sagan also made numerous solo bids for glory (pic: Sirotti)
While Niki Terpstra saved his single effort for the final six kilometres (pic: Sirotti)
Celebrate good times
Niki Terpstra roars in delight as he crosses the Roubaix finish line solo (pic: Sirotti)
John Degenkolb celebrates second-place, to accompany his Gent-Wevelgem win (pic: Sirotti)
One for the collection
Terpstra examines the latest addition to his mantlepiece: the famed cobble trophy of Roubaix. pic: ©Sirotti
Not this time
Fabian Cancellara finishes on the podium once again, but a record-breaking third Ronde-Roubaix double was just beyond him (pic: Sirotti)
John Degenkolb joins Terpstra and Cancellara on the Paris-Roubaix podium (pic: Sirotti)