uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

"We were always in the action even if a mechanical excluded a strong Chavanel from the fight. In the final we had three guys and then two of four riders in the front. It was the perfect situation for us, but once again we had bad luck,...

Photo: Sirotti














07.04.2013 @ 19:53 Posted by Jesper Johannesen

Omega Pharma-Quick Step proved their collective strength in today's Paris-Roubaix but their streak of bad luck continued at the most crucial moment. Both team riders in the final 4-man front group were taken out of contention after they hit spectators and team captain Sylvain Chavanel was set back by an untimely mechanical. Niki Terpstra saved the day by taking the final spot on the podium.


Tom Boonen's crash in last week's Tour of Flanders was the culmination of the streak of bad luck that has haunted the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in the spring classics. With defending champion Boonen unable to take the start,  the team tried to salvage their classics campaign through a strong collective performance.


The team showed its impressive strength in numbers by putting 3 riders into the crucial 10-man move and when the final 4-man group set off, both Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar were part of the move. However, the team had still no luck and the duo were taken out of contention when they both hit spectators on the famous pave of the Carrefour de l'Arbre inside the final 20km of racing.


Stybar had shown amazing strength when he clung to the wheel of eventual winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack) during the Swiss' acceleration to close the gap to an earlier move by Vandenbergh and Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco). Impressed by his own strength, the Czech fancied his own chances in the final part of the race.


"I had Stijn in front at first, so I didn't have to pull," he said. "I was just following Cancellara. I had really perfect legs and I was feeling very good. Then, there were four of us away and I thought 'I think I am one of the fastest,' so I was really focusing on what I could do in the final. Niki (Terpstra, ed.) was behind me so I didn't have to pull at all. I was really in a super situation."


"But after there was some photographer or something in the way and I hit him with my shifter and I nearly crashed. Before I could put my foot back in the pedal I just lost contact with the wheel of Cancellara. Once you have a gap of 5 to 10 seconds, it's impossible to close on this parcours, especially after 240 kilometers."


Phenomenal race debut by Stybar

The former cyclo-cross world champion made his debut in the race after almost skipping the complete cross season to focus on the spring classics. Keeping his limited experience in mind, he was happy with his performance and was glad to see the team step up in the absence of Boonen.


"On the one hand I am extremely disappointed, but on the other hand it was the first time here on the cobblestones and in the Classics, so I can be happy I was really close. I did a final and I hope to come back and win this race."


"I think we did a really perfect job as a team," he continued. "From kilometer zero there was always someone in the breakaway. There was not once a group without our team. So, I think after the bad luck of Tom Boonen we proved we can still do really well as a team. All the group was very focused and motivated in the last days and weeks. We've just always had bad luck. Once we hit the cobbles and saw all those crowds I realized it's very unique to be so lucky and so strong every single second. You can lose everything or you can win everything in just one moment."


Vandenbergh felt he was one of the strongest

Vandenbergh was clearly one of the strongest as he kept attacking all day. He was the one to create the decisive move when he escaped with Vanmarcke in the last part of the race but all dreams ended with the unfortunate crash.


Afterwards, the Belgian refused to blame the spectator and took the sole responsibility for his unfortunate destiny. Nonetheless, his disappointment was really deep as he felt that he was one of the strongest in the race.


"I was just on the side of the road, and a spectator was lined up in front of me, " he said. "So I hit him and I crashed, and that's that. I chose the side and not the cobblestones. I was too close to the spectators and I crashed. "


"In any case, I felt really good when I was away with Sep Vanmarcke earlier in the race," he continued. "I was riding just 90 percent, and I saw on his face that he was suffering and I felt better. He is 2nd today, so it is hard for me that I am not on the podium today. When Vanmarcke saw Cancellara coming just before the pave he didn't want to ride anymore. He waited, and I also waited. So then we went with four. It was a good scenario for us, but we had bad luck."


"Maybe I could have even won. When Fabian went, Vanmarcke was able to stay on his wheel and I felt stronger than Vanmarcke. It's always possible to attack when they are busy looking at each other. So, if you can podium, for sure you could always win as well. As for my crash, my left elbow will need some stitches due to a deep wound and there is pain in my leg. But I'm in my rest period now, so I can recover."


Still no luck for Chavanel in Roubaix

In the absence of Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel was expected to lead the team. The Frenchman had shown blistering condition in the races leading up to today's challenge and he was eager to put behind the streak of bad luck which had taken him out of contention in both the 2011 and 2012 editions.


Hence, many were surprised to see the team captain miss out when Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil) forced the crucial 13-man selection on the Mons-en-Pevele sector. Instead, the former French champion was seen at the back of a chasing group which never got back in contention.


Once again his absence from the front group was due to bad luck


"I was pedaling really well, everything was under control," he said. "Suddenly on the cobblestones sector of Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée (number 11) the cable of the front gear brake had a problem. I couldn't shift anymore and the chain was on the small ring. In the front they started attacking but I couldn't follow because of this technical problem. When I changed the bike it was already too late, the race was gone. I'm really frustrated because I showed that I could have been with the best in the final. Once again I had bad luck, but that's also Paris-Roubaix and you have to accept it."


Terpstra saves the day

The team's day was saved by Niki Terpstra who was part of the 5-man group to chase behind Vandenbergh, Stybar, Vanmarcke and Cancellara. With Vandenbergh and Stybar falling back, the group was suddenly fighting for the final podium place, and the Dutch champion was able to beat his companions in a final sprint on the Roubaix velodrome.


The Dutchman was of course happy to improve on last year's 5th place, but was disappointed to see the team's chances of victory disappear due to their extreme run of bad luck.


"I'm happy to be on the podium of course," he said. "The team was really strong. Tom Boonen was not here, and he is our leader, but we had our chances. Sylvain Chavanel was of course our leader here, but we could also go if we had our chance. Chavanel had a bad moment and of course we had to go when the opportunity was there. Of course Cancellara was the big favorite today so we wanted to have as many riders as we could in the first group. We had three riders in the top 10 in the final kilometers which was perfect."


"Unfortunately, Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar crashed at the end," he continued. "I didn't see what happened. I was sitting in the group behind and suddenly I saw Stijn lying on the side of the road. I was thinking, 'man,' because he was really strong. But I thought 'OK we still have Zdenek there.' Then I heard he crashed but I just kept focusing on the group. Of course I was not working because we had men in front and for me it was to our advantage. So I could save my energy for the final. I could also use my experience from the track where I had trained with the team. That is why I could sprint well and take the podium place in the end."


"I think we could have played a very nice tactical game in the final, but Zdenek and Stijn crashed so I think in the end I am happy to take this podium place. I feel Roubaix is one of the craziest races, but it's beautiful to do because I can do it really well. Of course it's a special race, my specialty as well and that's why I love it. I proved I could do really well today with a podium."


Steegmans in the early break

The team's early protagonist had been Gert Steegmans who was part of the day's early break. He was caught with less than 60km remaining but was able to help his leaders before he dropped off and finished more than 6 minutes behind race winner Cancellara.


The Belgian was proud of his performance on an otherwise unlucky day


"I was one of the riders who had to try to enter in the early breakaway," he said. "In the first hour of the race we really flew. When the group caught us I had the power to stay in the front. It was part of our tactic today to always stay in the front with a rider but ... The bad luck hit us again. It's a shame because as a team we really did a great job and Styby or Vandenbergh could have finalized the entire team's work."


The team deserved more

Sports director Wilfried Peeters was impressed to see a strong collective effort who really stepped up in the absence of their usual leader. Even though he was happy to see Terpstra on the podium, he felt that the performance deserved an even better outcome.


"Today the guys were really committed to mark the race with a strong performance," he said. "We were always in the action even if a mechanical excluded a strong Chavanel from the fight. In the final we had three guys and then two of four riders in the front. It was the perfect situation for us, but once again we had bad luck. Vandenbergh hit a spectator and he crashed and a few seconds later Styby was almost on the ground because of another spectator. Fortunately, Niki had the power to do a great sprint and gain a 3rd place that honestly I think the team really deserved, even if  we could have done even better with two guys in the final." 


Terpstra's 3rd place marks a positive end to an otherwise lacklustre cobbles season for the team which last year dominated with victories in the E3, Gent-Wevelgen, the Driedaagse van de Panne, the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix. Cavendish' 2nd place in the Scheldeprijs was the team's only other podium place and there was no rider from the squad in the top 10 of their big home race last week in Flanders.


The team will now turn its attention to the Ardennes classics. However, the team is not nearly as strong in the hilly races as it is on the cobbles, and it would be a surprise to see the team be a major protagonist throughout the coming weeks in the Belgium and the Netherlands.



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

39 years | today
38 years | today
31 years | today
28 years | today
24 years | today