Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Niki Terpstra has won the biggest race of his career in securing victory at Paris-Roubaix. The front runners with 6km left to go to the velodrome finish included many of the race favourites –Trek’s Fabian Cancellara, Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin ProCycling), Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and no less than three OPQS riders – but it was the 29-year-old Dutchman Terpstra who dug deepest to secure a winning time of 06h 09′ 01”. German sprinter John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) took second and Cancellara third.
A clearly delighted Terpstra said, ‘I feel happy, but really tired. Finally I won a big one. We had a healthy, comfortable pressure from within the team to perform; the kind that motivates us to do well. We won a lot of races but not a big one yet. We wanted to prove we can win a big one… It’s a dream come true. Paris-Roubaix is a crazy race, old fashioned, but that’s why it’s special and why I love it that much. It was really my lucky day.’
Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins secured hard-fought top-10 finishes (7th and 9th respectively) with Wiggins – a replacement for the injured Ian Stannard – clearly frustrated that his performance wasn’t better. ‘There’s a tinge of disappointment because I really had the legs,’ said Wiggins, ‘Even in the final I felt strong. There was a part of it where I was pinching myself a bit – I don’t mind admitting that…’
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