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"He told me: ‘If I win I want to do it in the sprint.' Sadly enough somebody was stronger than him."

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep / Tim De Waele

PARIS - ROUBAIX

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PATRICK LEFEVERE

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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12.04.2016 @ 08:07 Posted by Renaud Breban

Etixx-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere may have missed out on victory but he remains proud of his team after Paris-Roubaix. In an interview with Cyclingnews, he makes it clear that Tom Boonen deserved a fifth Paris-Roubaix win.

 

"He wasn't the weakest. Boonen was the strongest. He was confident. He told me: ‘If I win I want to do it in the sprint.' Sadly enough somebody was stronger than him," Lefevere said. "I'm very sad for him especially. He's the athlete. He deserved to win his fifth. He did everything for it. Starting with a [lag] on the other competitors. He did have a Winter. He needed every day to come back to this level. He was here. We were aiming for a fifth win. It was win or defeat. Sadly enough for Tom it was defeat."

 

"Our team was too good. They had balls. I didn't see that from other teams. I'm sorry for this. We're the best team. We don't win today but there's nothing we can [blame] ourselves. If we would race like the other teams then there would've been a bunch sprint on the track."

 

The Belgian manager is convinced that his leader lost the race before the finish when Australian Mathew Hayman attacked. "He went all in when closing the gap on Hayman. That also cost Boasson Hagen and Vanmarcke the victory. It was already happening on Hem [pavé sector 2]. At five kilometres to go they were all dead. They all wanted to attack but nobody had the juice in their legs to get away. Yesterday he told me that he didn't fear anybody in the sprint. I think that today the most fresh rider won the race."

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