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Press Releases | 14.04.2019

Peter Sagan’s persistence on the pavé sees defending champion take fifth on incessantly difficult Paris-Roubaix

The Queen of the Classics – the legendary Paris-Roubaix race was finally here. Riders faced down a hellish 257km – the first half undulating, the second half flat, but all of it exceptionally difficult. To reach the velodrome in Roubaix, the riders would have to make it through twenty-nine cobblestone sectors ranging in difficulty from one to five stars – the most fearsome being the Trouée d’Arenberg, Mons-en-Pévèle and the Carrefour de l'Arbre. This race is as much about luck as it is about form, power or strategy – luck with the weather, luck with positioning, and luck to make it through each cobblestone sector unscathed. Before even reaching the first set of cobblestones, the pace had been relentless and draining – attack after attack strung out the peloton, but nobody managed to break away and make it stick. In the end, it wasn’t a breakaway, but a split in the peloton that saw a group going out in front. As the roads became rougher, the crashes were more frequent, and while at first the BORA-hansgrohe riders were fortunate simply to be held up by crashes in front, with around 120km remaining, Daniel Oss was forced to retire from the race after going down – a big loss to his team given his strong efforts in the first half of the race. In spite of this, the team pushed on and fought hard to stay in contention on the front, with Juraj Sagan keeping his brother, Peter, safe from harm, while Maciej Bodnar and Marcus Burghardt kept the pace high. As the race neared 50km to go, Rüdi Selig jumped to shut down a potentially race-winning break, a powerful chase group forming behind, with none other than the Slovak National Champion, Peter Sagan, pushing the pace hard and making the catch. It was from this move that a group of six was formed – a selection of riders who looked like they would be able to last all the way to Roubaix. Hitting the Carrefour de l’Arbre, the road was more like a tunnel, the route thick with screaming fans as this front group – now five – made their way through the toughest remaining sector. It was here that two pushed off the front in what proved to be the decisive move, and the reigning Paris-Roubaix champion wasn’t in this group. This duo fought it out for the win to deafening cheers from the velodrome crowds, with Peter taking fifth, having fought so hard from start to finish.

 

Results

01       P. Gilbert                     5:58:02

02       N. Politt                       +0:00

03       Y. Lampaert                +0:13

05       P. Sagan                     +0:42

 

From the Finish Line

"It was a very tough Paris Roubaix, with the headwind making it even more challenging. The team did once again a great job, we had some crashes but they all put in a tremendous effort. We followed all the moves until the Carrefour de l'Arbre but in the last 15km I didn't have the legs to respond to the attacks and try to take a podium spot." – Peter Sagan

"I think we had a good race from the whole team today. Unfortunately, we weren't lucky as Daniel Oss crashed and he was certainly missing in the finale but the rest of the squad was there and helped Peter as much as possible. We had to react a bit earlier than we would have liked but the group was right for us, the riders worked together and Peter was there until the last sectors. In the end, he was completely empty, so it wasn't possible for him to follow the first riders. Overall, I could say it was a good race for us and a good result." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director


 

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