2013 Paris-Roubaix in quotes

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Here are a selection of quotes from riders and team directors from the 2013 Paris-Roubaix.

Fabian Cancellara:

I was in another world of riding! I still don’t know how I did it. I was dropped and pretty far back but then I started to move up. This is a race you can never give up on until the end. I had to play with him in the end because I tried to go away but he followed so then I knew it was man against man. I’m happy for the team and for me. Now I look forward to rest and a holiday. Mission accomplished.

It’s amazing having a third victory. When I see how in this race everyone was against our team, against me, I just had to do a selection. The team came into a little bit of difficulty because we lost a few guys because of bad luck. But that’s Roubaix. It’s always nice to win alone but today there was pure fighting until the very end. I could not believe it when I crossed the finish line. My legs and my head wanted to bring me here.

Dirk Demol, Radioshack team director:

In the car for Fabian was 1988 Paris-Roubaix winner and team director Dirk Demol, encouraging Cancellara and reminding him he was the best: “I was nervous the whole day. We knew what we were facing. We knew we had the best rider and best team. But I told the guys this race wasn’t only for Fabian, it was for the whole team. We weren’t riding for second place, only the victory. I know Vanmarcke very well. He’s from my neighborhood and I knew he would be a fighter. I told Fabian to ride to keep him working and not make any mistakes. He had to stay focused as we knew Vanmarcke could do a good sprint. It was too bad Stybar crashed. This was perfect for him. But this time others had the bad luck and we had the good. That’s the way it goes in Roubaix. Fabian feels this race. That really helps in a race. He’s good at that. Really good.

Niki Terpstra:

I’m happy to be on the podium of course. The team was really strong. Tom Boonen was not here, and he is our leader, but we had our chances. Sylvain Chavanel was of course our leader here, but also we can go if we have our chance. Chavanel had a bad moment and of course we have to go when the opportunity is there.

Of course Cancellara was the big favorite today so we wanted to have as many riders as we could in the first group. We had three riders in the top 10 in the final kilometers, which was perfect. Unfortunately Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar crashed at the end. I didn’t see what happened. I was sitting in the group behind and suddenly I see Stijn lying on the side of the road. I was thinking, ‘man,’ because he was really strong.

But I thought ‘OK we still have Zdenek there.’ Then I heard he crashed but I just kept focusing on the group. Of course I was not working because we had men in front and for me it was to our advantage. So I could then save my energy in the final. Also I could use the experience on the track this winter, training with the team. That is why I could sprint well and take the podium place in the end.

I think we could have played a very nice tactical game in the final, but Zdenek and Stijn crashed so I think in the end I am happy to take this podium place. I feel Roubaix is one of the craziest races, but it’s beautiful to do because I can do it really well. Of course it’s a special race, my specialty as well and that’s why I loved it. I proved I could do really well today with a podium.”

Zdenek Stybar:

I had Stijn in front at first, so I didn’t have to pull/ I was just following Cancellara. I had really perfect legs and I was feeling very good. Then, there were three of us away and I thought ‘I think I am one of the fastest,’ so I was really focusing on what I could do in the final. Niki was behind me so I didn’t have to pull at all. I was really in a super situation.

But after there was some photographer or something in the way and I hit him with my shifter and I nearly crashed. Before I could put my foot back in the pedal I just lost contact with the wheel of Cancellara. Once you have a gap of 5 to 10 seconds, it’s impossible to close on this parcour, especially after 240 kilometers.

So on the one hand I am extremely disappointed, but on the other hand, for the first time here on the cobblestones and the Classics, I can be happy I was really close. I did a final and I hope to come back and win this race.

“I think as a team we did a really perfect job. From kilometer zero there was always someone in the breakaway. There was not once a group without our team. So, I think after the bad luck of Tom Boonen we proved we can still do really well as a team. All the group was very focused and motivated in the last days and weeks.

We’ve just always had bad luck. For this race, once we hit the cobbles and saw all those crowds I realized it’s very unique to be so lucky and so strong every single second. One moment you can lose everything, or you can win everything.


Stybar, a former CX world champion, gets some air during a cyclocross race.

Stijn Vandenbergh:

I was just on the side of the road, and a spectator was lined up in front of me. So I hit him and I crashed, and that’s that. I chose the side and not the cobblestones. I was too close to the spectators and I crashed. In any case, I felt really good when I was away with Sep Vanmarcke earlier in the race. I was riding just 90 percent, and I saw on his face that he was suffering and I felt better. He is 2nd today, so it is hard for me that I am not on the podium today.

When Vanmarcke saw Cancellara coming just before the pave he didn’t want to ride anymore. He waited, and I also waited. So then we went with four. It was a good scenario for us, but we had bad luck. Maybe I could have even won. When Fabian went, Vanmarcke was able to stay on his wheel and I felt stronger than Vanmarcke.

It’s always possible to attack when they are busy looking at each other. So, if you can podium, for sure you could always win as well. As for my crash, my left elbow will need some stitches due to a deep wound and there is pain on my leg. But I’m in my rest period now, so I can recover.

Sylvain Chavanel:

I was pedaling really well, everything was under control. Suddenly on the cobblestones sector of Auchy-lez-Orchies à Bersée (number 11) the cable of the front gear brake had a problem. I couldn’t shift anymore and the chain was on the small ring. In the front they started attacking but I couldn’t follow because of this technical problem.

When I changed the bike it was already too late, the race was gone. I’m really frustrated because I showed that I could have been with the best in the final. Once again I had bad luck, but that’s also Paris-Roubaix and you have to accept it.

Gert Steegmans:

I was one of the riders who had to try to enter in the early breakaway. In the first hour of the race we really flew. When the group caught us I had the power to stay in the front again. It was part of our tactic today to stay always in the front with a rider but … The bad luck hit us again. It’s a shame because as a team we really did a great job and Styby or Vandenbergh could have finalized the entire team’s work.

Marc Madiot, FDJ manager, speaking of Yoann Offredo’s crash:

He was at the tail of the peloton, he’d just asked me for a bike change. Before I could respond, he had not seen that the peloton was splitting to go each side of a traffic island and he hit the sign at full speed. He hurt himself badly, he’s wounded on his chin, his knees, his ribs. That’s how it ended for him…

Sep Vanmarcke:

I know that I should be very proud of this especially with my fall in Tirreno-Adriatico still etched on my mind. Paris-Roubaix was actually the only race wherein I could still perform. To be honest, I had my doubts but the team stood behind me and I am very thankful for that.

At the finish, I felt pretty good about my chances – after all, Cancellara is also human! I saw that he was also tired and he could not shake me in the last kilometres That gave me an enormous boost. That’s why second place feels so frustrating – I don’t know if I’ll have another chance to win Paris-Roubaix. I just can’t fully appreciate what second means at this moment.

Taylor Phinney:

I was maybe feeling a bit too good. I think I got a bit excited. I never had any bad luck or any crashes. But when I needed to have the big kick to stay with the front group on Mons-en-Pévèle, I didn’t have it. That was too bad.

Thor Hushovd:

I felt really good but I had to change my bike and it was hard to get back. Just when I came back, I had a flat, then another flat and then I had a crash. I had to fight to come back to the front four times. That put me in the red a little bit. But I was still there. When they went hard once I went all kind of flat. So it’s another disappointing day for me.

Laurenzo Lapage, Orica-GreenEDGE Sport Director:

There’s no secret formula,A lot of work goes behind being competitive at this level. The riders who want to be good in these races know they have to do the work, and Sebastian did the work. I’m pretty satisfied with his race and result. We started the race with a podium place in our heads, and we have to admit that we didn’t reach our goal, but with the improvements we’ve seen from last year to this year, we can hope for even more next year.

One of the most important things today was not to miss the early break, and we did,” said Lapage. “The early move did not stay, but we missed it. I wasn’t happy with that and because we used three riders too early, we didn’t have the numbers where we needed them later on in the race.

I must say that Stuey’s move saved the team. It allowed Jens and Sebastian to relax a bit in the peloton. It shows that Stuey is so important for our team in this kind of race.

In many ways, we are happy with the results we have had in the cobbled races,” said Lapage. “Overall, the results over the past few weeks with the same riders are much better than last year. We know there is still much room for improvement. The talent is there, and with hard work, better results will follow.