His complete physique lined in mud after 257.7 kilometres that includes 30 cobbled sectors, Colbrelli burst into tears as he collapsed on the grass of the Roubaix Velodrome after triumphing within the first rain-hit version of the Hell of the North since 2002.
The European champion, of Workforce Bahrain Victorious, pipped Belgian Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) and Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), who had been second and third respectively.
Van der Poel, one of many pre-race favourites, got here up simply quick after doing a lot of the work in a small group chasing Italian Gianni Moscon, who appeared to be heading to victory earlier than a puncture and late crash ruined his probabilities.
Moscon (Ineos-Grenadiers) ultimately completed fourth, 44 seconds off the tempo, leaving his compatriot Colbrelli to turn into the primary Italian to win right here since Andrea Taffi in 1999.
Van der Poel, who was additionally making his debut on the Paris-Roubaix within the first version since April 2019 after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted organisers to place off the occasion, matched his father Adrie’s podium end from 1986.
Numerous crashes marred the race with triple world champion Peter Sagan hitting the deck and Swiss Stefan Kueng taking place thrice.
Colbrelli spent a lot of the day tucked into Van der Poel’s slipstream and when the ultimate dash on the Velodrome loomed, the Italian was the freshest man.
It lengthy appeared, nonetheless, that Moscon could be celebrating a solo win.
Moscon pulled away from a number one group within the cobbled sector of Auchy-lez-Orchies to Bersee 49km from the road because the solar pierced by way of the clouds and the roads began to dry.
Getting into the important thing cobbled sector of Mons-en-Pevele, Moscon led Vermeersch and fellow Belgian Tom Van Asbroeck by 35 seconds and Van der Poel, Canada’s Guillaume Boivin and Colbrelli by 1:10.
Powering his method by way of the thick mud, Moscon prolonged his benefit over the Van der Poel trio to 1:25 as Belgian Wout van Aert pale away.
With 38km remaining, Vermeersch and Van Asbroeck had been reined in by Van der Poel and firm and the newly shaped group organised the chase behind Moscon.
The Italian misplaced some 30 seconds with a flat rear tyre that prompted a motorcycle change 29km from the road with the chasing quintet decreasing the hole to 45 seconds.
It fell to fifteen seconds after he crashed on a muddy patch however the Italian stayed simply clear as Boivin crashed within the group of chasers within the cobbled sector of Camphin en Pevele.
He was nonetheless caught and dropped 16km from the end within the Carrefour de l’Arbre as Colbrelli, Van der Poel and Vermeersch went clear to contest the ultimate dash.