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- NBC Sports schedule shows Paris Roubaix should have been on TV at 6:30 am today. No Paris Roubaix....EPL was on. Had to watch on my IPad but would rather watch on my TV. I have ATT U-verse...was anybody else able to watch on TV?
Sky rider tired from helping team all day
ROUBAIX, France (VN) — Tour de France winners have taken home the cobblestone trophy from Paris-Roubaix before, but none of them has had Sir in front of his name. Bradley Wiggins dodged all the pitfalls at “The Hell of the North” Sunday to have that chance, but could not follow the race-winning acceleration when he needed.
“I’ve gone from team pursuit, individual pursuit, Madison world champion, Tour de France winner, top 10 in Paris-Roubaix,” Wiggins said. “I’ve always been a jack of all [trades], and today confirms that.”
Instead of adding a knighted Briton to its winners’ list, Paris-Roubaix added another Dutchman on Sunday. Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) fired away solo with 6.2 kilometers to race and won in Roubaix’s velodrome with a 20-second advantage. Wiggins finished ninth, in the group behind the winner, and his Sky teammate Geraint Thomas took seventh.
Wiggins sat on the infield’s grass after the 257-kilometer finale of the cobbled classics, caught his breath, and spoke to his wife. After he showered, he met the press at the door to Sky’s bus.
“It was a real honor to be in the final, going past Tom Boonen on the Carrefour [de l'Arbre cobbled sector] was special, and then to come on the velodrome in a group with riders like [Fabian] Cancellara. To be there was great. It gave me confidence that I can do it now and match those guys,” Wiggins said. “To go top 10 is a good result; there are not many Tour de France winners who’ve been top 10 in Paris-Roubaix. On a personal note it’s a nice thing.”
Wiggins won almost every major stage race en route to his 2012 Tour de France victory. He went on to claim a time trial gold at the London Olympics later that summer. It confirmed his transition from track to road hero. It also helped him earn that title of Sir Bradley.
This winter, though, few thought he could seriously challenge for a Paris-Roubaix victory after he announced that the “Queen of the Classics” would be a major target. Even ahead of the race this morning, he only had two big one-day races in his legs and carried 44:1 odds. Three-time winner Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) carried the best odds, at just under 3:1.
Wiggins survived “The Hell of the North,” however. He covered the cobbled sectors, 51.1 kilometers’ worth, and rose to the top. He rode into the final 20km with an 11-man group that included Thomas, three Omega Pharma riders (Terpstra, Boonen, and Zdenek Stybar), Cancellara, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano).
“You really have to commit, go into those cobbled sectors and close your eyes,” Wiggins said. “You have to have the legs, as well. Even Tom Boonen today, when I caught him on the Carrefour, he was hanging on with what he had. In the final, too, guys were just stopping, really. You saw how big the group was, 50 or so, and how it whittled down in the final sectors.”
Wiggins relied on Thomas to draw away the attention. The Welshman joined Boonen and a handful of others for an escape that lasted 40km. Once the others caught him, with 20km to go and Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen behind, Wiggins had his turn.
“I felt fantastic when the two groups came together at 10 kilometers out. I attacked, and then after that, I don’t know really, I just felt out-numbered,” Wiggins said. “And the run-in was quite fast in the last five kilometers. Terpstra played it perfectly with Stybar and Boonen.”
Wiggins would not allow his rivals such freedom in the 2012 Tour, where Sky suffocated the race and delivered the then-32-year-old to Great Britain’s first-ever maillot jaune. However, given his underdog status — and three-year absence from the race — ninth place at Roubaix appeared to suit him. Wiggins said he would come back again and try to win; first though, a rest, the Amgen Tour of California, and a push to make Sky’s Tour team.
The post Wiggins says riding into the Roubaix final was a ‘real honor’ appeared first on VeloNews.com.
2014 Paris-Roubaix: peloton
It was a dry, windy, dusty day at Paris-Roubaix. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Hushovd
Thor Hushovd was showing signs of his old self on the cobbles. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Sagan
Peter Sagan launched attack after attack, only to wind up sixth in Roubaix. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Martinez
Yannick Martinez, one of the early animators. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Boonen
Tom Boonen was after his fifth win, and nobody wanted to let him have it. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Boonen and Thomas
Tom Boonen went on the offensive with Geraint Thomas and a handful of others with 60km to go, but the group only last two-thirds of what remained to the finish. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Cancellara
Fabian Cancellara showed plenty of power, but a repeat of last year's Flanders-Roubaix double was not in the cards. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins countered the catch of Boonen and Co., but couldn't get away. He went on to finish ninth in his first Roubaix since his 2012 Tour de France victory. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Hushovd
Thor Hushovd having a go. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Terpstra and Boonen
Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen and John Degenkolb were among the contenders in the final kilometers. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Terpstra
Niki Terpstra committed fully to the move when he got the word to go. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: Terpstra
Niki Terpstra left everything out there on the road. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: on the velodrome
Niki Terpstra salutes the crowd. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: the winner
Celebration! Niki Terpstra pumped both fists in the air as he rolled across the line for his first monument victory. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: sprint
Sep Vanmarcke and Peter Sagan lost out in the battle for the remaining steps on the podium. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
Cycling: 112th Paris - Roubaix 2014
Niki Terpstra and his wife Ramona celebrated the biggest win of the Dutchman's career on Sunday. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
2014 Paris-Roubaix: podium
The podium (L-R): runner-up John Degenkolb, Niki Terpstra, and third-place Fabian Cancellara. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com
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ROUBAIX, France (VN) — When Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) heard over the crackle of race radio that he had the freedom to attack as a dozen top riders powered toward the velodrome, he didn’t hesitate.
Omega Pharma had three riders in the select group, and they were saving team captain Tom Boonen for a sprint finale, so Terpstra and teammate Zdenek Stybar were given the green light to go. With just over 6km remaining, Terpstra punched the accelerator, and Paris-Roubaix quickly became a race for second place.
“As soon as I heard that, I didn’t wait 20 seconds. I just went full gas, like I like to do,” Terpstra said. “It was not clear how much of a margin I had. I knew I was in the front, and when I looked behind, I saw I had a good gap. I didn’t look back again, because you know they’re coming. I wasn’t sure I was going to win until reaching the velodrome.”
Omega Pharma played the numbers again, and after being frustrated throughout this year’s spring classics, it paid off.
They came up short at E3 Harelbeke and Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), settling for less when only victory counts on a team like Omega Pharma.
The pressure was on Sunday for the big win in the last shot at redemption.
“Yes, there was pressure, not only from the outside, but also from inside the team. We are motivated to do it,” Terpstra said. “We have won a lot of races, but not a big one. We wanted to prove we could win a big one, so it gave us a lot of motivation, especially after Flanders.”
Terpstra stayed hidden away for much of the race, hiding behind Omega Pharma’s workers early on. He also avoided mishaps.
“I didn’t have one puncture. For the first time in Roubaix, I didn’t have any problems at all,” he said. “I was very lucky. Maybe I should go play the lottery now.”
He and Boonen ramped up the speed to produce some splits in the peloton after the Arenberg forest, but headwinds, dry road conditions, and a big group meant that the peloton kept reforming.
When Boonen bolted clear with a searing, long-distance attack at 65km to go to bridge out to a leading group, he yelled into Terpstra’s ear to go with him, but the Dutch rider hesitated, and thought he had missed his chance to win Roubaix.
“I hesitated one second too long, and then it was too late [to go with Boonen], because had I later reacted, I would take the entire peloton with me,” he said. “I thought [Boonen's early attack] was a good attack. If there was not good cooperation behind, they would have stayed away in the front.”
Terpstra then played a chess match, saving his legs as BMC and Belkin worked to reel in the Boonen group. Counter-attacks from Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) were hard to cover, but he stayed tucked in as Stybar joined a promising group.
After the Carrefour de l’Arbre, Terpstra and Boonen rejoined a leading group to create the winning pack of a dozen riders.
Everyone was strong, everyone was tired, Terpstra knew the spoils would go to the brave. So when he heard had license to attack, he didn’t hesitate a second time.
“I attacked at the right moment. The whole group was strong, every rider who was there had good legs,” Terpstra said. “It’s a stupid race, it’s too old-fashioned, but that’s what makes Roubaix so special, and why I love it so much.”
The victory is a coming of age for the 29-year-old Terpstra. Fifth in 2012, third last year, Terpstra has been knocking at the door of a big win for the past few seasons.
Victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen in a similar, late-race solo attack indicated he was in top shape. Second at Harelbeke and sixth at Flanders confirmed it.
When he bolted free with 6km, the gap kept growing. The others knew they were damned if they chased, and damned if they didn’t. Omega Pharma had the numbers, and this time it played out just right.
“It’s so satisfying, to finally win a big one,” Terpstra said. “I already had some nice victories, but they were small races. Roubaix is the biggest classic for me to win. It was pretty emotional at the finish line.”
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