What's Buzzing:

Terpstra wins Paris-Roubaix race

AP - Sports
Terpstra wins Paris-Roubaix race

View photo

Omega Pharma team cyclist Niki Terpstra, center, of the Netherlands poses on the podium after he won the 112th edition of the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic, a 257 kilometer (159.69 mile) one day race, of which 51.1 kilometers (31.7 miles) are run on cobblestones, at the velodrome in Roubaix, northern France, on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Germany's John Degenkolb, left, of the team Giant came second and Fabian Cancellara, right, of the Trek Factory team placed third. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

ROUBAIX, France (AP) -- Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands won the Paris-Roubaix race for the first time on Sunday, making a decisive break near the end of the one-day classic to win it by 20 seconds and upstage pre-race favorites Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara.

Belgian rider Boonen was looking to win the race for a record fifth time, and the Swiss star Cancellara, who finished in third place, for a fourth time.

Terpstra outwitted his Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammate Boonen after pulling ahead with about six kilometers (3.7 miles) remaining. Known as the ''hell of the north'' because it is so grueling, the race features about 50 kilometers (31 miles) of cobblestone sections along the 257-kilometer (160-mile) route.

''Maybe not (the best day) in my life, but for sure my career,'' said Terpstra, who won in a little more than six hours. ''I did the attack and I was in front but I didn't know (by) how many seconds. I was just pushing until the end.''

German rider John Degenkolb finished second after beating Cancellara in a sprint to the line. Belgian rider Sep Vanmarcke was fourth and Czech cyclist Zdenek Stybar - Terpstra's teammate - was fifth.

Boonen attacked strongly from the front as a group of eight riders, including Peter Sagan, kept the pressure on the Tour of Flanders champion Cancellara, who was tucked in the chasing pack and lacking his usual pace after being involved in a crash.

The only other four-time winner is Belgian Roger de Vlaeminck, who won in 1972, '74, '75 and '77 and the 33-year-old Boonen will have to wait another year for a chance to break the record.

Sagan took the lead and, after passing the Carrefour de l'Arbre cobblestone section, he was a few seconds ahead of a group of six riders. But Boonen caught back up with about 10 kilometers to go and Terpstra was with him.

''Tom and I came back in the front but after the last cobble section, I attacked,'' Terpstra said.

The 33-year-old Cancellara missed the chance to become the only rider to win Flanders and Roubaix back-to-back in consecutive years.

''It was really hard. The first thing was that the wind changed a lot of things. I was struggling a bit after my fall, had to change my bike and work hard to catch up,'' he said. ''That cost me a lot of energy.''

Still, after also finishing second in the Milan-San Remo classic last month, Cancellara was not too disheartened.

''I'm proud of myself because I gave my maximum, and it's the 12th time I've been on the podium (in a classic race),'' he said. ''I'm proud of that.''

Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff of Norway had a puncture in the Trouee d'Arenberg, one of the most feared cobbled sectors.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (1)
  • West Brom's Pulis praises 'professional' Lambert

    West Brom's Pulis praises 'professional' Lambert

    (Reuters) - Rickie Lambert's professionalism has been hailed by manager Tony Pulis after the striker forced an equaliser for West Bromwich Albion in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw with West Ham United. The 33-year-old has failed to nail down a … More »

    Reuters - 2 minutes 16 seconds ago
  • Too big, too fast, too much - New Zealand bids farewell to Lomu

    Too big, too fast, too much - New Zealand bids farewell to Lomu

    Six simple words eloquently summed up the impact Jonah Lomu had on rugby union when New Zealand paid its final respects to the former All Blacks winger on Monday. "Too big, too fast, too much," Lomu's high school coach Chris Grinter told the … More »

    Reuters - 21 minutes ago
  • Van Gaal calms fears over Rooney injury

    Van Gaal calms fears over Rooney injury

    (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has moved to calm fears that captain Wayne Rooney is set for a spell on the sidelines after the striker limped out of Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw with Leicester City. Rooney, who has … More »

    Reuters - 24 minutes ago
  • Prince Ali vows to 'open the books' if elected FIFA head

    Prince Ali vows to 'open the books' if elected FIFA head

    (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Hussein has said he will make public all financial documents at soccer's world governing body if he is elected. In an interview with Japan's Kyodo news agency, the Jordanian royal said he would … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago
  • Kobe Bryant to retire at end of season

    Kobe Bryant to retire at end of season

    Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, arguably the best player of his generation, announced on Sunday he will retire after the 2015-16 National Basketball Association season. Bryant, who is struggling through the worst season of his illustrious … More »

    Reuters - 26 minutes ago