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"On the cobbles of Hem Jürgen Roelandts leaves a gap and I lose touch. I should have stayed with that group. That's my fault. I am not saying I would have won but I would have been top ten."

Photo: ©Kramon








13.04.2015 @ 01:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wanty-Groupe Gobert showed themselves well in Paris-Roubaix today. With an attacking style of racing, four riders in the first 30 and real teamwork, the team can be happy with this 113th edition of the monumental Classic won by Giant-Alpecin's John Degenkolb.  

“We are back in the game. We finish with four guys in the first 30 of the race but mustn't forget that riders like Devriendt and Antonini worked fantastically today as well. That we 'only' finish in 19th place with Leukemans is too bad but we must be realistic. This is WorldTour level. As a pro continental team we did really well today," sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren said.

One of the team's goals in Paris-Roubaix was to be part of the day's breakaway. After an attempt by Tom Devriendt, Frederik Backaert did succeed in getting away with eight other riders. 

“It wasn't easy at all. In the first hour we were racing fast and it took quite a while before the decisive move happened. When I saw Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-la Mondiale) attack, I knew I had to follow him. After that moment we stayed at a 20 seconds gap for a while and really had to work 'à bloc' for half an hour to gain some minutes," Backaert explains.

The breakaway got a lead of almost ten minutes. For Roubaix debutant Backaert this meant riding around with goosebumps on his arms. "Not only in Arenberg but on many section were big crowds cheering. It was terrific." Before the Carrefour de l'Arbre Backaert was caught but despite his effort finished 25th. 

With four Roubaix first timers on the team, Marco Marcato and Bjorn Leukemans brought the experience onboard. Both of them were part of the group of favourites in the final. Simone Antonini and Tom Devriendt made sure their team leaders were well positioned before the Trouée d'Arenberg. Tim De Troyer stayed with Marcato and Leukemans for a long time to help them out if necessary. 

Just before the iconic Carrefour de l’Arbre Marcato attacked. However, he couldn't bridge towards Borut Bozic and Jürgen Roelandts and was caught. Therefore the Italian wasn't completely satisfied. 

“After the Carrefour de l’Arbre I had a small hunger knock and was tired. I did manage to stay with the group in the final though. With my current form and Bjorn's too we could have done better today. If you are racing at the front you want a result. As a team we performed really well. We showed we have our place in these big races. The same goes for me. After two years where things were going less well, I feel good again. Therefore I had higher expectations of myself today."

Team leader Bjorn Leukemans wasn't 100% happy either with his day in 'Hell'. 

"I wasn't super, not 100%. In the end I am in that group with Lars Boom, which was the decisive move. On the cobbles of Hem Jürgen Roelandts leaves a gap and I lose touch. I should have stayed with that group. That's my fault. I am not saying I would have won but I would have been top ten," Leukemans concludes. 



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