Joseph Areruya becomes the first black African rider to finish Paris-Roubaix

The 23-year-old crossed the line but finished outside the time limit

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Joseph Areruya (Delko-Marseille Provence) has become the first ever black African rider to start and finish Paris-Roubaix.

The Rwandan finished outside the time limit, at least more than half an hour down on winner Philippe Gilbert, but becomes the first black African to cross the finish line in the Hell of the North.

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Television cameras caught Areruya on the course stopped by the side of road, picking himself back up after he crashed 101km from the finish, in sector 20, the four star rated Haveluy to Wallers.

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The 23-year-old was one of 10 riders to finish outside the time limit, in what was a typically tough and attritional day on the cobbles.

On the start line in Compiègne, Areruya said: "My goal this year will be to get to the finish on time and then do better.

"I know that my experience will be shared with the African continent and I hope that young Rwandans will dream of imitating me."

Areruya's team-mate, the Lithuanian Evaldas Šiškevičius, finished ninth, and was the highest placed rider on a Pro-Continental team.

Before joining Delko-Marseille Provence in 2018, Areruya was at Dimension Data. The highlights of his career so far include a win in the overall classification of the Tour of Rwanda in 2017, followed by a National Time Trial Championship victory in 2018.

Philippe Gilbert won the 117th edition of Paris-Roubaix after beating Nils Politt in a sprint inside the Roubaix velodrome.

Yves Lampaert finished third with reigning champion Peter Sagan fourth after becoming detached from the leading group in the closing kilometres.

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