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"Although there were moments in the race it could have turned out differently, when Jens was in the group with Wiggins or when Jürgen attacked. If Jürgen would have been joined by some riders it could have been the right move...

Photo: Lotto Soudal






12.04.2015 @ 20:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a really fast start of the 113th edition of Paris-Roubaix, due to the tailwind. Many tried to escape. Eventually nine riders  got ahead, Lotto Soudal's Sean De Bie was part of that front group. They had a maximal lead of more than nine minutes. At that point Astana, Katusha and Sky started to reduce the gap. As if the devil was involved Sean De Bie, who impressed on the cobbles, had a puncture at the Trouée d’Arenberg and so eight leaders were left.


About thirty kilometres from the end Belgian champion Jens Debusschere bridged to Stijn Vandenbergh and Bradley Wiggins. They got the company of Zdenek Stybar as well. The peloton, that was considerably reduced by that time, didn’t let them go. Twenty kilometres before entering the velodrome in Roubaix Jürgen Roelandts responded to an attack of Borut Bozic. The Lotto Soudal rider then started a solo on the cobbles of Camphin-en-Pévèle. Roelandts covered the sector of Carrefour de l’Arbre as race leader. His chasers were close and with fourteen kilometres to go the Belgian rider was caught by a group of about twenty, teammate Jens Debusschere was now with him. Yves Lampaert and Greg Van Avermaet attacked next. John Degenkolb bridged to them. This trio entered the velodrome in Roubaix together with Lars Boom, Martin Elmiger, Jens Keukeleire and Zdenek Stybar. John Degenkolb beat Stybar and Van Avermaet in the sprint. Jens Debusschere finished as ninth at 29 seconds of the winner after a strong race.


“The race went pretty well for me, although sometimes I was positioned too far," Debusschere said. "That’s why I had to close some gaps and that cost energy. At the Forest of Wallers four riders of our team were part of the first thirty riders in the peloton. It was still a long way to go, but it was a good situation.


"Later I got in a group with Stybar, Vandenbergh and Wiggins, ideal for the team and me. After we got caught Jürgen attacked. Once we had covered the sector of Carrefour de l’Arbre I got in the group with Jürgen. The first seven riders in the ranking were too strong for me. Together with Luke Rowe I jumped away from the chase group. The circumstances changed all the time, I’m happy with the ninth place.”


“The team animated the race again," manager Marc Sergeant said. "Unfortunately we didn’t get the top result we had hoped for. Although there were moments in the race it could have turned out differently, when Jens was in the group with Wiggins or when Jürgen attacked. If Jürgen would have been joined by some riders it could have been the right move. On the other hand with about seventy kilometres to go we missed a breakaway. The team did everything they could to get back. Especially Marcel Sieberg did a good job at that point.


“We weren’t strong enough to get a podium place. That’s the story of the past classics as well. Previous years we had less good results though. From Milan-Sanremo on we animated the race each time and we now have almost three times more WorldTour points than at this time last year. But we miss a top result. We can’t blame our riders. Now we’re looking forward to the Ardennes classics.”



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