The myth of Paris-Roubaix, incredible Benzema, Toulouse as champion… Our Tops and Flops of the sports weekend

OPINION – The myth of Paris-Roubaix, royal Benzema, Toulouse as champion, a cardboard PSG-OM… Discover the tops and flops of Figaro’s sports department.

Dylan van Baarle, magnificent hero of Paris-Roubaix

A first for the richest team in the peloton: the Dutchman Dylan van Baarle won Paris-Roubaix on Sunday and gave Ineos his first victory in the queen of the classics in record time. In a race led drum roll under 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 favourites, the Belgian champion Wout van Aert (2nd) and the Swiss Stefan Küng (3rd), resigned to the battle for 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 awaiting ordination. Last year, the solid roller won the silver medal at the World Championships behind Julian Alaphilippe. As soon as the border was crossed in the old cycling track of Roubaix, the Dutchman fell into the arms of his team boss Dave Brailsford. Since 2010, the British formation (formerly Sky), the richest of the pack, has failed on the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix, despite an attempt by leader Bradley Wiggins in the twilight of his career.

Karim Benzema, King of Madrid

The French international has once again donned the suit of the savior of Real Madrid. Five days after the biggest club in the world qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League against Chelsea, Karim Benzema did it again this Sunday. In the shock of the 32and La Liga day, “KB9” offered Real the win against Sevilla in the 92and minute of a cold-blooded goal (3-2). Karim Benzema is alone at the top of the La Liga 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, 12 of which were in the Champions League. Monstrous. He also has 12 assists, will take home the trophy in La Liga and will continue to compete in the Champions League after winning the Supercopa de España. An extraordinary season in which he is the big favorite to win the next Ballon d’Or.

Toulouse, the awakening of champions

Things seemed to get off to a bad start. The European champion – and his five stars on the jersey – let loose on the round of 16 would have been a stain. And then Antoine Dupont, he again, rose to record the test of Stade Toulousain’s victory in Belfast against Ulster (23-30). Defeated in Ernest-Wallon in the first leg (20-26, after 70 minutes out of 14), De Rouge et Noir were able to react like champions and honor their status as the flagship of European rugby. A small difference that makes the difference.

Tsitsipas, Prince of Monaco

Ilie Nastase, Björn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, Thomas Muster, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Rafael Nadal… It was only six players who managed to tame the Monte Carlo tournament twice in a row, and not the least… They became this joined on Sunday by Stefanos Tsitsipas, winner in the final against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6. A triumph that confirms the Greek hunger for clay, the surface on which he grew up. Finalist of the last edition of Roland-Garros, he ideally launches his preparation for the 2022 French Open by winning in the Principality, after knocking out Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Our flops

A cardboard PSG-OM

We expected a real shock between 1er and the 2and and nothing happened. In total we saw 4 shots on target, and only 2 shots in total in the second (all for OM). It’s hard, then, to get carried away by the spectacle on offer, all in a cathedral atmosphere with the cheering strike on the Auteuil bend side. Tactically at first, this poster eventually lost spectators with numerous stoppages and multiple errors (28). A meeting far from unforgettable with a small winner.

Bordeaux hits rock bottom but still digging

On the lawn of an Olympique Lyonnais in internal crisis and booed by his own supporters, Bordeaux has – again – completely burst, conceding a total of six goals on Sunday afternoon. Miserable. Catastrophic. Catastrophic for a club in distress and straight down. A first goal came after 20 minutes of play, a fourth after the kick-off of the second period. Another 6-1 defeat away from home and the Girondins stuck in 19th place in Ligue 1, moving slightly closer to Ligue 2.