One of the most unexpected results of Paris-Roubaix was the emergence of Israel Start-Up Nation as a real force in the race with the team placing two men – Guillaume Boivin and Tom Van Asbroeck – among the top 10 to be completed in the Roubaix velodrome.
Israel Start-Up Nation lined up in Compiègne in the morning under the watchful eyes of co-owners Ron Baron and Sylvan Adams with Sep Vanmarcke leading an eight-man squad that included a number of powerful riders, albeit under -estimated.While Vanmarcke’s afternoon was, once again in a great Classic, marked by bad luck, Van Asbroeck obtained a career-best eighth place, while Canadian champion Boivin finished ninth alongside his teammate. .
Van Asbroeck had entered the great morning breakaway and was one of the last survivors before Gianni Moscon (Ineos-Grenadiers) made his long shot on Auchy at Bersee, while the impressive Boivin was the only man capable of accompany a possible winner Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) when the latter attacked on the same cobbled section.
Van Asbroeck, who was finally caught by this trio, replaced Boivin before being left behind in the last 20 kilometers. The Canadian, out of the race, is however much more painful – and disappointing – much more painful on Camphin-en-Pévèle.
“I think we’re going to go straight to the hospital. I’m afraid my wrist is broken. Shit, ”he said at the Roubaix velodrome after the finish, after a heavy fall in sector 5.
“I had the best day of my life on the bike. I come from the favorites group. I had a puncture in the first sector of the day, then I caught up 50 kilometers from group to group to come back in front. Yeah, I fucked it all up in an area.
“You do almost 30 sectors and nothing happens, then a few sectors to go and that. I am really disappointed. “
Boivin’s team later confirmed in their post-race report that Boivin suffered heavy bruises on his wrist, not that the news would assuage the 32-year-old’s disappointment. Sunday marked his first participation in such an important race, having last recorded a WorldTour top 10 in 2014.
“It means a lot, you know. But you are not in a position to win Paris-Roubaix too often in a career, ”he said. “I think I still felt like I had a few legs to get to the finish. Massively disappointed, but I’m sure I’ll look back tomorrow and be pretty proud. It’s a good end to the season and I’m sure I’ll build on it for next year. “
“It was pretty crazy, yeah. You had to be focused. I guess it’s pretty cool to have done a rainy edition of Roubaix. I hope fans will be happy for another 20 years before it rains. “
Van Asbroeck, meanwhile, called the day the most difficult of his career. The 31-year-old, however, said he was satisfied with the efforts of the day, which, like Boivin, saw him play for the first time in the Paris-Roubaix final.
“This is my first final in this race,” he said. “I can’t complain and I’m super satisfied. To be in the top ten here is an achievement in itself. We stayed ahead for a long time, but unfortunately I couldn’t follow. I had a bit of a dive and Gianni Moscon pushed really hard.
“It was the toughest day of my career, to put it mildly. In general, Paris-Roubaix is a very difficult race, but with these conditions, it’s another level. The mud pools, the rain, and how dangerous the cobblestones were, made it incredibly difficult. “
As for the leader of the Start-Up Nation of Israel, Vanmarcke, he had a terrible luck with three punctures, two bike changes and an accident, to finish in 23rd place, 6:21 on Colbrelli. It was a missed opportunity for the Belgian, who said he was in great shape that day.
“During the race, I felt I was doing very well on the cobbles and the mud,” he said. Cyclismenews. “I felt like I could play a part in the final again. Three punctures and the two resulting bike changes, in the end a collapsing saddle and a fall in between… stopped cars blocking the way. It was hard.
“Nevertheless, I have always managed to come back up. Fortunately, we had two men in front with Tom and Guillaume Boivin who performed beautifully. It’s something that I really like and I’m really happy for them and for the team.
“Obviously, personally, this is another missed opportunity. Now I am going to see the doctor because I can barely see through my eyes. “