Crash costly as Pithie again outstanding on the cobbles

Road, Track & Cyclocross
WhatsApp Image 2024 04 08 at 7 v2.25.37 AM

Laurence Pithie produced a stunning ride to finish seventh – and youngest rider in the top-40 – in the famed Paris Roubaix, the gruelling 260km battle over 29 cobbled sections, better known as the Hell in the North.

Pithie, just 21, crashed in the Templeuve sector, while leading the group with eventual winner, Mathieu van der Poel.

“I came too fast in a gravel corner. I misjudged it, and it took me out of the group. It was a silly mistake that ruined my race. I got back and went full gas trying to come back, but with Pedersen and Politt taking turns in front, it was hard,” said Pithie.

“The plan was to have numbers in front, and we executed it. Unfortunately, we were never got to play our cards because of my crash. When I look back on it, I will be happy with seventh, but I think I could have fought for the podium,” he explained. “I had very good legs, and for now, it’s just disappointing.”

Although quickly back in the saddle, the New Zealander couldn’t come back and was actually joined by Vermeersch a bit behind.

“We believed in the podium, but we lost a good card when Laurence fell,” said director-sportif, Frédéric Guesdon, who was glowing in his praise of the kiwi rider.

“However, I wouldn’t have bet on Laurence’s seventh place. He amazes me from race to race. It was his first Roubaix among the pros, and he was there in the final. And if he hadn’t crashed, the podium was on the line. For us, it’s a satisfying Paris-Roubaix. It’s good to finish on a high note, especially on Paris-Roubaix, which is a Monument that really matters to us. Putting two men in the top-10 is perfect.”

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