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“Unfortunately only half of our plan worked out today. By having Andreas in the lead group, we were able to fulfill at least one of our goals of being represented in a larger group for a long time," Poitschke says

BORA-HANSGROHE

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PARIS - ROUBAIX

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14.04.2014 @ 13:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team NetApp-Endura started Paris-Roubaix with a double plan. While Andreas Schillinger accomplished the first part by making it into the early break, a crash destroyed all hopes that Jan Barta could achieve a top result in the Queen of the Classics.

 

After 257 kilometers, Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) crossed the finish line alone to win yesterday’s 112th edition of Paris-Roubaix.John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano) of Germany followed 20 seconds later to clench second place in the sprint between a 10-man chase group that included all the favorites. Last year’s winner Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) came in third.

 

Andreas Schillinger also delivered an impressive performance today. In his fourth start in the “Queen of the Classics”, Team NetApp-Endura’s pro was part of an eight-man lead group for nearly 200 kilometers.

 

“Unfortunately only half of our plan worked out today," DS Enrico Poitschke said. "By having Andreas in the lead group, we were able to fulfill at least one of our goals of being represented in a larger group for a long time.

 

"The second goal was to get a good finish. Jan Barta was capable of doing that, which was why our strategy was built around him. Yet again, luck wasn’t on our side. Jan crashed twice. The first time he was able to get back into the field despite losing some time, but after the second crash in the Arenberg Forest, he had lost too much time and had no chance of recouping the deficit.

 

As expected, the battle for a spot in the prestigious breakaway group at Paris-Roubaix began almost when the starting signal was fired. The eight-man lead group, which included Andreas Schillinger, then formed surprisingly quickly.

 

Nevertheless, it still took nearly 40 kilometers before the escapees were able to build up more than a one-minute lead. It was only then that the peloton allowed the eight to pull away to advance their lead to as much as nine minutes.

 

In the Arenberg Forest, the first pivotal point in the race, the group was halved as Andreas Schillinger set the pace. Even the peloton diminished dramatically in this early decisive phase.

 

Unfortunately, Jan Barta was also among those affected when a crash on this challenging cobblestone section erased all of his chances for a good result. Nevertheless, he was still able to finish the race.

 

At the 196-kilometer mark, Andreas Schillinger was one of the last to be caught by the favorites. Several smaller groups attempted multiple attacks afterwards which were all unsuccessful, due in part to the strong wind.

 

In an extremely tactical finale, Niki Terpstra was able to use his team’s numerical superiority to his advantage and celebrated his first victory in a cycling monument after a 6-kilometer solo ride.

 

“Looking back over the past few weeks, you could say that we really haven’t been blessed with good fortune. Everything could have gone so much better. As a result, we haven’t lived up to our potential. This hasn’t been due to inability or because we couldn’t do any better, things just didn’t work out,” Poitschke said, summing up the past few races.

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