Unfortunately, 22-year-old Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts fell victim to these incredibly hard circumstances during this afternoon's race. Organizers said in a medical statement that he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest. TV footage of the race showed Goolaerts lying unresponsive on the side of the road as the peloton passed him.
"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts", read a team statement. He was then attended to by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.
I think Paris-Roubaix has to be the toughest race because you have the terrain - there are anything between 52 and 55 kilometres of cobbles over the course of around 260 kilometres.
The three time World Champion attacked a group of favourites with 53km remaining. Inevitably, it was the former who took the sprint, adding this Paris-Roubaix victory to that of his 2016 Tour of Flanders win. "I attacked at the right moment and I kept going until the finish".
Tour of Flanders victor Niki Terpstra, of the Netherlands, arrived home third at the 257km race, even 54.5km of them become the most famed cobbled businesses in northern France.
Goolaerts, who was in his fourth season with Veranda's Willems-Crelan, spent 2013 and 2014 with them at the continental level, and returned in 2017 after a season as a trainee with Belgian World Tour team Lotto-Soudal.
Another Belgian cyclist, Antoine Demoitie, died the same year following a crash in the Gent-Wevelgem race.
But the champion Slovak's thoughts post-race turned to Goolaerts.
The 257-kilometer race, called the "Hell of the North", includes 29 sections of cobblestones, which require special control of the bicycle and more effort than a usual road race.