Top 20 for Van Baarle at Paris-Roubaix

08 Apr 2018

Top 20 for Van Baarle at Paris-Roubaix

Dylan van Baarle secured a top 20 finish in an incident-filled Paris-Roubaix race for Team Sky which saw Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) win his second Monument.

Sagan attacked with 54 kilometres remaining, bridged to an earlier breakaway that contained Silvan Dillier (Ag2r La Mondiale), before the pair worked together and held off a number of chase groups, one of which containing Van Baarle, to contest a two up sprint in the Roubaix Velodrome.
Earlier, the Team Sky rider was caught up in a crash on the first cobbled sector which caused Geraint Thomas to have to withdraw from the race and also hampered several other Team Sky riders including Christian Knees and Owain Doull.  

While the early crash hindered his progress, Van Baarle was able to make an elite group with with four teammates including Ian Stannard, Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe and Doull as the race approached the four-star sector at Haveluy, before a puncture for Stannard and crash for Rowe hampered their pursuit of the leaders.

Rowe was knocked off his bike by another falling rider shortly before the second five star sector at Mons-en-Pévèleand and was forced out of the race, while before that Moscon was forced to battle back into contention after suffering a crash and puncture.

The chasing groups failed to react fast enough to the threat posed by Sagan and Dillier, which meant they were left to sprint for the minor placings after Sagan had sealed victory. 
Servais Knaven

Servais Knaven

The crash meant we had two of our helpers on the backfoot and one of our main guys out of the race.
Sport Director Servias Knaven rued the team’s bad luck as several incidents hit Team Sky’s chances of sucess, but praised Van Baarle for his battling spirit to secure a top 20 finish.   

He said: “We hit the first sector in a good position, they were all in a good position but then there was a crash and G was involved, Owain was involved and Christian was involved.

“That meant we had two of our helpers on the backfoot and one of our main guys out of the race. Then Owain came back and there was a crash with Gianni, who had to change his bike and Stannard had a puncture. and then Luke came down.”

He added: “Then we had two guys left and and then we only had Dylan up there and he managed to get a top 20 which is a decent result. But of course we hoped for more. 
Rowe and Thomas were forced out of the race after their respective incidents and fortunately Team Sky Doctor Neil Heron confirmed that both Thomas and Rowe escaped without serious injury.
He said: “G has got some superficial injuries to his left hip, elbow and shoulder, but there’s nothing beyond that.
“Luke is OK. He took a bang to his head in the crash but has passed all of our concussion tests.”
Geraint Thomas suffered a crash on the first cobbled sector

Geraint Thomas suffered a crash on the first cobbled sector

Thomas elaborated on the crash after returning to the team bus, adding: “From yesterday I’ve not been feeling 100%. This morning I was struggling to get fuel in so from the start I wasn’t feeling great. When it came to fighting for position I lost a bit going into the first sector.
“I was around the top 50 and then where you’re at is where you’re at. Unfortunately quite a few guys came down in front of me and I went straight into that. That was that.
“I was a bit sore on the bike. I could ride, but I was well out of the back. I didn’t come here to just try and finish the race - I was here to do something for the boys in the final. It’s disappointing to stop, but that’s how this race goes sometimes.”
Luke Rowe chasing the break before the crash

Luke Rowe chasing the break before the crash

Paris-Roubaix result  

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)  
2. Silvan Dillier (AG2R-La Mondiale)
3. Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors)
4. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)
5. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Sagefredo)  
19. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky

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