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"That takes some doing and he should hold his head up high. He gave it a good old crack, like he always does. For a lot of people it was all about him and his performance today, and I think he did exceptionally, as always."

Photo: Sirotti






12.04.2015 @ 20:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dave Brailsford hailed the performances of Bradley Wiggins and Luke Rowe in a hotly-contested 113th edition of Paris-Roubaix and is sad to see Wiggins’s time at Team Sky come to an end.


Team Sky’s Team Principal was on hand to watch the action unfurl in France and was pleased to witness his riders giving it their all in the Hell of the North, despite not being able to contest the victory.


The day also marked a poignant one for Brailsford, who was calling time on a working relationship with Wiggins that has spanned two decades, and brought with it numerous high-profile successes.


Immediately after the race, Brailsford shared his thoughts on a day of mixed emotions, and praised both riders’ efforts in one of the toughest tests of the year.



"So much was made about this race with it being Brad’s last appearance for us, and it was difficult to watch it in the same way you normally would," he told "Some detractors may say him finishing 18th is a little underwhelming, but if you take a step back, the guy has won the Tour de France and the Olympics and did absolutely everything he could today. He was there with 30km to go attacking on his own, and at that point I was thinking ‘Jesus, he might ride away from everybody here’.


"That takes some doing and he should hold his head up high. He gave it a good old crack, like he always does. For a lot of people it was all about him and his performance today, and I think he did exceptionally, as always.



"I’m sad to see him go, and yes, it’s emotional. These things comes to an end though and you try to think of a nice way to end a sporting career - do you step out at the top or do you become a fading light and drift away? We thought long and hard about that and decided this was a good way of doing it. It doesn’t feel like he’s stopping and retiring because he is obviously not, and I think we made a good decision to do it like this. It feels like a nice way to end.


"Personally, we have been through a lot together and he has done an awful lot for British cycling, and the whole of sport. When you consider his versatility, he has got to be right up there with one of the best athletes that the country has ever produced."



Brailsford was also full of praise for Luke Rowe who finished the race in 8th.


"It was super," he said. "He has promised that all through this classics campaign and I think in he did an awful lot of good work at the Tour of Flanders. He has stepped up again this year and that was a super result today. The other lads are quite a bit older than he is but he is maturing and really taking responsibility. He is a very exciting prospect for the future. He has run eighth here so why can’t he come back and win it in the future one day? I’m sure he has got the capability.


"He is stepping up to be a real leader for a young lad. He has got really good leadership qualities. Not only in the classics, but in our grand tour teams He reads a race well, he communicates well, and is definitely a future road captain of this team."



Brailsford regretted the bad luck that had taken co-leader Geraint Thomas out of contention.


"He started off unfortunately with his puncture, and then he punctured again, and then he crashed, and then he got caught behind a crash. It was one of those days. They come sometimes and that was that. You take the rough and smooth," he said.


"Unfortunately for him today he didn’t get to do what he wanted to do but for him there’s always another race."



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