OPINION – The myth of Paris-Roubaix, the real Benzema, the champion Toulouse, a cardboard PSG-OM… Discover the tops and failures of the Figaro sports department.
Dylan van Baarle, magnificent hero of the Paris-Roubaix
A first for the richest team in the peloton: the Dutch Dylan van Baarle won Paris-Roubaix on Sunday and gave Ineos its first victory in the queen race of the classics at a record pace. In a drum-beating race led in the sun at almost 46 km/h, van Baarle was rewarded. Two weeks after his second place in the Tour of Flanders, he dominated the favorites, the Belgian champion Wout van Aert (2nd) and the Swiss Stefan Küng (3rd), resigned to dispute the second place at 1 min 47 sec. Contrary to predictions, it was not Mathieu van der Poel (9th) who signed the seventh Dutch victory in history but van Baarle, a solid 29-year-old rider waiting to establish himself. Last year, the solid roller won the silver medal at the World Cup behind Julian Alaphilippe. As soon as the line was crossed at the old Roubaix velodrome, the Dutchman fell into the arms of his crew chief Dave Brailsford. Since 2010, the British formation (formerly Sky), the richest in the pack, had failed on the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix despite an attempt by its leader Bradley Wiggins in the twilight of his career.
Karim Benzema king of Madrid
The French international has once again donned the savior suit of Real Madrid. Five days after qualifying the biggest club in the world for the Champions League semi-finals against Chelsea, Karim Benzema did it again this Sunday. In the clash of 32me On LaLiga day, “KB9” offered victory to Royal vs. Seville in 92me minute of a goal in cold blood (3-2). Karim Benzema is alone at the top of the LaLiga scoring charts with 25 goals this season. The last Nations League winner with the Blues scored… 39 goals in 39 games played in 2021-2022, including 12 in the Champions League. Monstrous. He also has 12 assists, is ready to lift the trophy in La Liga and is still in contention in the Champions League after winning the Spanish Super Cup. An extraordinary season that places him as a great favorite to win the next Ballon d’Or.
SEE ALSO – Benzema’s best goals for Real Madrid in LaLiga
Toulouse, the awakening of the champions
The case seemed poorly shipped. The European champion -and his five stars on the jersey- premiered in the round of 16, would have been a stain. And then Antoine Dupont, again him, got up to record the rehearsal of the victory of the Stade Toulousain in Belfast against Ulster (23-30). Defeated at Ernest-Wallon in the first leg (20-26, after playing 70 minutes at fourteen), the Rouge et Noir knew how to react like champions, and honor their status as the flagship team of European rugby. A small point of difference that makes the difference.
Tsitsipas, Prince of Monaco
Ilie Nastase, Björn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Thomas Muster, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Rafael Nadal… There were only six players who had managed to tame the Monte Carlo tournament twice in a row, and no less… They were joined this Sunday by Stefanos Tsitsipas, winner in the final of the Spanish Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in two sets, 6-3, 7-6. A triumph that confirms the Greek’s taste for clay, the surface on which he grew up. Finalist of the last edition of Roland-Garros, he ideally starts his preparation for the French Open 2022 by winning in the Principality, after notably eliminating Alexander Zverev in Saturday’s semi-final.
A cardboard PSG-OM
We expected a real scare between the 1it is and the 2me and nothing happened. In total, we saw 4 shots on goal, and only 2 total shots in second (all for OM). It is therefore difficult to get carried away by the spectacle offered, all in a cathedral setting with the strike of cheers on the side of the curve of Auteuil. At first tactical, this lineup ended up losing viewers with numerous stoppages and multiple fouls (28). An encounter not unforgettable with a small winner.
Bordeaux hits rock bottom, but keeps digging
On the lawn of an Olympique Lyonnais in internal crisis and shouted by his own followers, Bordeaux, once again, have completely cracked, conceding six goals in total on Sunday afternoon. Pathetic. Catastrophic. Cataclysmic for a club in trouble and headed downhill. A first goal conceded after 20 minutes of play, a quarter after the kick-off of the second half. Another 6-1 away loss and the Girondins are stuck in 19th place in Ligue 1, moving a little closer to Ligue 2.