Anyone, who thinks a gigantic climb up to a legendary summit is absolutely necessary for a thrilling stage and there’s no other possible way to create drama has been proven totally wrong with the 2021 edition of Paris – Roubaix.
You know this race is a monument of the sport, when you take a look at the numbers already:
Total distance: 257 km!
Including: 30 sectors with a total distance of 50kms of pavet!
Nickname: The hell of the north!

This race is a spring classic with cold but dry conditions for dozens of years straight. Due to the pandemic it has been moved to early octobre and how could it have been any other way:
Rain showed up in the night before the race and wouldn’t stop until late in the race!

Usually, I prefer being outside riding roadbikes to sitting in front of the TV watching races the whole day. However, for the most prestige classic monument race in the world, I decided to make a super rare exception and of course I didn’t just sit on the couch staring at the TV for six hours straight … I studied the race in detail, which led to pages and pages of hand written race notes, which I would like to share right here:


Paris Roubaix 2021

257km
start conditions -> cold and wet
rider impression -> focused, not happy,
noone is laughing except of
Tim Declerx -> already at the front on the Depàrt fictif

TV legend expert Jens Voigt is already hyped, compares the riders with gladiators. Voigt rode in the same conditions about 20 years ago

first crash after 800 metres

first breakaway at 247 km to go
Trentin, Theuns, Kanter -> caught after about 25km

next breakaway (huge) at 209km to go (20-25 riders)
most teams are represented in the breakaway
Voigt calls it a race deciding situation

10km’s before Sector 30, the first segment of pavet in the race, tension is rising in the whole field, everyone wants to enter this sector at front. First time Mathieu v.d Poel shows up on the screen

5km’s before Sector 30 -> Stefan Küng and FDJ are again part of it (wrong tire pressure?)

Sector 30 -> peloton is torn into pieces, needs to regroup before the next sector -> 2min. away from the breakaway

150km to go -> Luke Rowe + Gianni Moscon (both Team Ineos) make a good impression in the breakaway

140km to go -> Sagan and Pollitt at the back of the peloton, Oss can’t stay in the breakaway. Bad day for Team Bora Hans Grohe.
Peloton once again torn apart, many riders lose contact to the peloton

Sagan crashes, looks shaken up

133km -> what’s up with Team FDJ? 3rd crash for Stefan Küng, front wheel slips away on the pavet out of nowhere

126km -> John Degenkolb crashes in the peloton, front slips away similar to Küng

115km -> Mathieu v.d.Poel attacks in the peloton with 2:30min behind the breakaway

Crashes and technical issues are still present everywhere in the race:
Laporte (Team Cofidis) lost rear brake, uses his right foot to slow down the rear tire before turns

100km -> Jens Voigt says, the riders look like riding bikes “on wet leaves and oily ice”!

The Forest of Arenberg

Eckhoff and Vermeersch are in front
Van Aert escapes crash soooooo close
Mathieu v.d. Poel attacks with Sonny Colbrelli at his wheel

The forest looks super rough, many ugly crashes

85km to go -> SONNY COLBRELLI attacks!!!

The field is close together after all, just one minute between breakaway, chase and peloton

75km to go -> Colbrelli is on a mission!

Side note: I need a coffee, it’s the 5th hour of sitting in front of the TV screen

70km to go -> Mathieu v.d. Poel attacks again and again,
van Aert can’t follow

52km to go -> Gianni Moscon is alone at the front after
all other riders in the breakaway crash
behind Walscheid

50km to go -> v.d.Poel, Colbrelli and Canadian Champ
Boivin are on a mission to catch Moscon
van Aert is nowhere!

Side note: Riders and Bicycles look like mine workers.
This isn’t a road race…

37km to go -> v.d.Poel attacks with 1:15min between him
and Moscon

Seems like noone can follow him -> wrong, Colbrelli, Boivin
and the rest of the chase are able to catch up to him

30km to go -> Moscon with a technical issue, has to change
bike and loses 30 seconds

Side note: Team Ineos has Moscon’s alternative bike installed
on the left position on the roof of the teamcar,
which costs time and proves, that Moscon has not
been their number one choice for the day…

Jens Voigt calls this a “noob mistake” by Team Ineos, because
they had enough time to prepare everything for their only rider left in the race

26km to go -> Moscon crashes on his new bike
wrong/different tire pressure than before?
however, he doesn’t stop fighting for the win
with 15sec left between him and the chase!

Carrefour de’l arbre

Colbrelli, v.d.Poel and Vermeersch catch up to Moscon

Colbrelli looks strong

Moscon loses contact to the group and is gone

10km to go -> The race is going to be decided between
v.d.Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch

Watch out for Colbrelli!

Sonny Colbrelli, the european champ, wins in a thrilling finish sprint in front of Vermeersch and v.d.Poel!!!

Vermeersch tried everything and started the sprint early but Colbrelli did the smartest sprint and probably had the most left in the tank!

<- where else, right?

<- Trentin was gone after that

<- horrible day for FDJ, it’s a shame, because Küng looked super fresh and motivated

<- what happened to Luke Rowe after this? one moment he’s in the breakaway looking super fresh, next moment he’s gone…

<- nasty crash, which ended Sagan’s race, even though he continued

<- only one week after his crash at the world champs! Big streak of bad luck for Degenkolb…

<- The “road” through the forest looked so narrow! If a single rider crashes in front, everyone behind him needs to have superpowers to escape a crash

<- That day, I finally understood the meaning of being tired of doing nothing!

<- Legends do legendary things! Jens Voigt -> best TV expert ever!


This race is just incredible! Anyone who has never seen it, won’t understand this.
It’s incredible, that the riders are actually finishing this race at all and it’s incredible, that the bikes are actually surviving this race.
It’s incredible, that the pavet sectors are all listed and protected as a historical monument and it’s incredible to see, how the people in northern france are celebrating the race and the sport like this.

I am already hyped for next year’s edition of Paris – Roubaix!

-Dennis

Dear, International Olympic Committee!

The Olympic Games in Tokio 2020 were awesome. As I wrote in my last blogpost (right here!), it were specifically the cycling events, that blew my mind. Of course, that won’t surprise anyone, considering that I’m a cyclist and that cycling is basically what I’m living for. However, even I have to say, that I really enjoyed the competition and the show of this year’s edition.

It’s also great to see, that you try to leave room for innovation by adding new sports to the olympic games (just like you did with skateboarding and BMX Park for example).
What got me excited once more, was the idea of adding the sport of Karate as a once in a lifetime olympic event to the games in Tokio.
In my opinion, that really was a sign of great respect to japanese traditions, the history of the country and gave the hosting nation an opportunity to represent itself. I really think, that is something that the olympic games should establish for upcoming events.

Now, I’d like to share my thoughts about what I’m thinking about for the upcoming summer games in Paris, France 2024:

Tell me, what’s the first sport, that comes to your mind, when you think about France?

Soccer? yeah, that might be true … however, soccer might have gotten bigger than the olypmic games itself and furthermore, in which country isn’t it huge, right?

Rugby? well, I think this sport has a great tradition in some areas of France, but I’m not sure, if the people in every province share that passion

Cycling? YES! That’s what I’m thinking about!

Cycling is HUGE in France! Le Tour De France is the biggest of the three Grand Tours in Europe.
Paris – Roubaix is a classic monument race of cycling and climbs as the Mont Ventoux or Alpe d’Huez are legendary in the sport and beyond!
In my opinion, there’s no sport in France, that has a bigger tradition than cycling.
Cycling is of the same importance to France as Karate is in Japan. And that’s why I think, that cycling deserves something great in 2024!

What could that be?

Well, there are a lot of opportunities. First of all, I think it’s about time to give MTB Downhill an olympic chance. There’s an UCI Downhill WorldCup in Les Gets every year, so there’s already an infrastructure and knowledge in France. No need to find a track and build a track, because it’s already there. I know, Les Gets isn’t quite close to Paris, but that wasn’t a problem in Tokio, so why should it be one in France, right?

If you like to see something more exotic, well, what about an ultramarathon bicycle race?
It would be great to do something like a 1000km + x race from Le Havre at the channel to Nizza at the Cotè d’Azur for example. You could stream that online and follow the riders location per GPS tracker, that would be something super cool and innovative!

Of course, you could create something brand new as well! What about a multi – discipline bicycle race for example: The modern bicycle tri -/ pentathlon!
This competition could easily be hosted in Paris, so the athletes could even stay in the olympic village.
The details of this event still need to be finished, but I’ll let you know soon!

Well, I really hope, that I was able to underline my intention in this brief blogpost. Make sure to tell me, what you think about it and I’ll make sure to respond to it as fast as I can.
Hey, IOC! Let’s just do something great for cycling in Paris, France 2024!

-Dennis


Check out more content of DennisTheCyclist:

I’m a huge fan of the olympic summer games eversince and this year the summer games in Japan have got me excited and amazed once again.
Following the competitions, watch records getting torn apart (just like the german women did twice in the final of the team chase in track cycling! Did you see that? Incredible!), how can someone who does any type of sport in his spare time not be a fan of the olympic games?

After following all the action this year, it comes with no surprise, that I’m already excited about the upcoming summer games 2024 in Paris, France.
Actually, that ain’t too far away from where I’m living. And that got me thinking:
Wouldn’t it be cool to be part of the summer games in Paris? In fact, that would be super cool!

Of course, I’ve got a focus on cycling, so let’s just take a look at the cycling disciplines that have been a part of this year’s games:

Time Trial:
The Top riders did an average around 50 km/h this year, which is super fast and super impressive, even more if you consider, that most of the riders just finished the Tour de France one week before the games in Tokio.
On a good day, I’m able to do an average of around 28 km/h for the same amount of time. That’s a huge gap …

Road Race:
Three words to describe the road race … serious killer stage! Around 250 km’s and a ton of altitude, these are numbers of a monument race! Right now, I’m not even doing 250 km’s in a whole week most of the time, not to talk about the altitude … this just seems unreal to me right now!
Side note … the Fuji Speedway looked super cool and all, but it was way too huge and gigantic for a cycling event. The riders looked super slow on the track, although they were riding at top speed. I know, the scenery looked fantastic, but it’s called a road race for a reason …

BMX Race:
One minute sprint races on a pump track, the BMX races are always spectacular. I need to work on my cadence in order to compete here, but pump tracks are so much fun, it would just be super cool to be a part of that!

Mountainbike Race:
A ton of endurance is needed in this discipline. It’s a sprint race from start to finish. Uphill, Downhill, fast, slow, rocks, roots, trees, gravel, dirt and mud … sounds like fun! Sign me up for that, s’il vous plaît?

Track Cycling:
Super fast, high power racing with prototype bicycles around an wooden oval track … are you serious? You know how high the level of competition is, if the times are taken in thousands of a second!
If I’m going to be part of that in 2024, I’m going to sit at the sideline with an ice cold beer, watching track and olympic records get broken one after another!

BMX Park:
What are the riders even doing on their bicycles? This discipline is so unbelievable awesome, I definitely need to see this in 2024!

Just thinking about all the action from the Tokio games gets me thrilled for the games Paris in only three years. France is one of those huge cycling nations. The next games should keep that in mind. For Tokio 2020, they put Karate in the list of disciplines, just and only for the games in Tokio, to honor its history and tradition in Japan, which was an awesome idea!
Why not do the same with cycling in France?
That idea gets me really excited and I’m going to share my thoughts about it in an extra blogpost soon!

-Dennis


I’m back in my hometown, Dortmund. Back to the old daily job / ride routine and back to good old german summer. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk and I can’t hear anything except of the rain drops hitting the rooftop windows and the wind blowing against the rooftop. That’s basically how the weather has been for the last couple of days. Rain, sun, wind / rain, sun. They said, it’s going to stay like this for the rest of July. Some districts and cities around Dortmund already did have problems with flooding. Luckily, I didn’t run into problems yet, but who knows what’s going to happen in the next days and weeks. I got a small water pump for times like this, that I already set up just to be prepared and be ready for whatever’s going to happen. So, yeah, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for some nice and dry summer weeks ahead, even though the forecasts predict something different …

On days like this, I’d like to think back to my time at the North Sea coast some weeks ago. What a great time that was!
I was able to ride bicycles on nearly empty roads, meters away from the ocean, just me riding roadbikes and noone else in sight for a huge part of the time … and all of that for dozens of kilometres!
The bike path right along the ocean between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf was a real highlight. I never rode my roadbike straight through herds of sheep and cattle before, that was awesome.
And I’d like to go right back to the benches that were placed metres away from the shore. I could sit there for hours and watch all the cargo ships and fishing boats go by …
There’s a video on my YouTube channel, in which I ride a huge part of the bike path at the ocean. The video should be able to show you what’s so special about this path. So, take a look at it, if you’ve got a spare minute left … or ten!

However, right here, right now in Dortmund, I can’t do anything else than take every chance I get to get out and ride my local route. You gotta be spontaneous these days. Not long anymore until I’m going to be the local legend on nearly every Strava segment that is on my favorite local route. That’s seriously keeping my motivation up at the moment!

So, yeah, that’s it for now … see y’all soon!

-Dennis


The start of June was also the start of my first holidays from work in 2021 and since travelling to certain areas and under certain circumstances has been possible again, I decided to do a much needed one week get away to the North Sea coast. Of course I took my Creme Cycles singlespeed roadbike with me.
There were a dozen places and spots I wanted to check out during that week and the roadbike was the perfect choice for me to get there.

The weather was on my side the whole week long, but of course it’s the North Sea we’re talking about – the weather conditions could change from hour to hour, however I was prepared for whatever awaited me. I always dressed up for cold and wet conditions, so I could pack a rain jersey in my bag, whenever it got too warm. That strategy paid evident!

Cycling at the North – Sea coast is so much different from riding roadbikes in Dortmund. One day I cycled about 50 km and only gained about 50 m of elevation (!) and although the wind really can be a huge factor on at least one way of the ride, the flat terrain at the coast is so chill to ride.
The countryside at the coast is also really quiet, there are no highways, only some bigger roads and the bicycle infrastructure is so much more developed than the one in Dortmund, so riding bicycles can be extra relaxing when you’re coming from a crowded area like I do.

One of my favorite routes during that week has been the bicycle path right along the coast between Otterndorf and Cuxhaven. It’s a ten kilometre long bicycle connection between the two cities, that’s following the coast line as close as it gets. Sometimes the water even swaps over the whole path when the tide is high and some parts of the path are also covered by sand … it’s insane!
Oh, and did I mention, that the coast area is also a pasture? That means, you’re riding ride through cattle and sheeps. The animals are so used to cyclists, that they’re actually walk wherever they want. It’s there property, so you have to watch out for anything that might cross your way … it’s insane!

The bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf also hosted my favorite spot at the coast. Two benches right in front of the ocean. I could sit there for hours and watch all the huge cargo ships pass by, let me tell you, that was the best place!

Hopefully, the pictures give a good impression of the area and the places at the coast. All of them were shot on my smartphone, so the resolution might not be the best.
However, there’s one video on my YouTube channel already, that I’m going to share right below this post and I’m already working on a video about the whole bicycle path between Cuxhaven and Otterndorf. Make sure to check that out, if you’re curious to find out more about the area at the North Sea coast!

-Dennis