Paris-Roubaix runner-up Florian Vermeersch posts incredible ride to Strava

The 22-year-old Belgian put in an astonishing ride on his 'Hell of the North' debut

Florian Vermeersch on his way to second at the 2021 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Florian Vermeersch put in a truly astonishing performance to take second in his debut Paris-Roubaix, behind European champion and fellow debutant Sonny Colbrelli - but what do the Strava stats reveal about his ride? 

Vermeersch (Lotto-Soudal) rode a very smart race by getting up the road in a strong group of riders including former winner Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroën). 

The 22-year-old Belgian managed to keep the bike upright and avoid punctures, before he was joined by Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) as well as a few other riders such as Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) and Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start-Up Nation).

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The ride Vermeersch posted to Strava was a 263.65km activity that took him 6-15-45, with an incredible average speed of 42.1km/h - considering the conditions and the terrain, an incredible feat.

Vermeersch's average power was 343 watts with a staggering peak of 1,476w with no KoMs going his way as the pace was slowed compared to the last few years due to the wet conditions.

Florian Vermeersch's ride

(Image credit: Strava)

At one point coming out of Troisvilles onto the first cobbled sector, Vermeersch, who was in the break of the day by this point, held 628w for over a minute.

As the break was forming Vermeersch also churned out some big numbers for a very long time with 492w being pushed through the pedals for over three and a half minutes.

His weighted average power according to Strava was 370w with his peak W/KG being 18.11w/kg. 

In the final half lap of the velodrome, Vermeersch produced 993 W for 18 seconds with the peak at 1,476w, but he couldn't hold off the powerful kick of Colbrelli.

Florian Vermeersch's average power, speed etc

(Image credit: Strava)

His total work was a huge 7,743kj. It was a brilliant ride by him and by far his biggest result in his career.

Before Roubaix, his best finish was fourth at the Brussels Classic a few weeks earlier. He also managed a ninth overall in the Benelux Tour, which was won by Colbrelli.

As well as all that, one top-10 and a few top-20s in his debut Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, and third place in the under 23 World Championships individual time trial, this season has been a superb one for the man from Ghent. 

He is next expected to race at Paris-Tours where he will be seen in a very different light as a potential big favourite.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!


I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.


It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.


After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.


When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.


My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.