In the final of the 112th edition of the Hell of the North, Niki Terpstra from the Netherlands implemented the preparatory work of his team Omega Pharma-QuickStep in an exemplary manner and won solo in the Roubaix velodrome. With almost six kilometers to go, he broke away from the group of favourites. This included John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano), who ended up taking second place ahead of last year's winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek).
The race was initially characterized by a breakaway group around Andreas Schillinger (NetApp-Endura). Together with six other drivers, the Bavarian broke away at kilometer three. His escape ended almost 200 kilometers later.
The reason for this was Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). In personal union, one of the big favorites had taken the reins and increased the pace on the pavement with almost 70 kilometers to go. Later, the Belgian quadruple Roubaix winner was joined by other strong riders in Thor Hushovd (BMC) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
After that, the race remained exciting. However, the decision was not made until the last fifteen kilometers. Just before the Boonen group merged with riders like Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Cancellara, Degenkolb and Terpstra, Sagan attacked. He initially tried it out on his own, but soon found himself in the company of Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Cancellara and Degenkolb.
Together the quintet was able to gain a lead of almost fifteen seconds over a small group around Boonen, Terpstra and Wiggins. However, he managed to catch up with the leaders with just under six kilometers to go. Terpstra took advantage of this moment. After a short tactical break, he picked up the pace again. The start of the fast-paced Dutchman was not followed by a counterattack. In the meantime, the other favorites managed to reduce the gap to seven seconds. After that, however, disagreement arose again in the follow-up work.
Terpstra drove safely towards his greatest career success. But Degenkolb should also be anything but unhappy with his second place.