INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Paris - Roubaix

Tom Devriendt (4th) obtains the team’s best result in a Monument


The Belgian World Team concluded its cobble classics campaign in a stunning way this Sunday on the occasion of the 119th edition of Paris-Roubaix (1.UWT), the fastest in history. A first decision in Hell of North waas already made in the first race hour following crosswinds, splitting the peloton in two parts.

Before the first of thirty cobble sections, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was represented by four riders in the front: Tom Devriendt, Andrea Pasqualon, Baptiste Planckaert and Kévin Van Melsen. After more than three hours of chasing, both pelotons came together again with 100 kilometer to go.

Meanwhile, Tom Devriendt was isolated in the front with four other riders and they formed the « breakaway » of this edition. The 30 year old Belgian was the first rider to cover the Trouée d’Arenberg as they left one member of their group behind. One minute later, a strongly reduced peloton with six riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux followed on this first five starred section.

The advantage of the breakaway with Devriendt culminated at 2 minutes before a group of counterattackers was born with 55 kilometer to go on section 13 in Auchy. In this group of around ten riders, Adrien Petit was accompanied by Taco van der Hoorn until the Dutchman punctured.

Following the succession of cobble sections and mechanicals of his competitors, Tom Devriendt led Paris-Roubaix solo with 40 kilometer to go. His 100 kilometer effort in front of the race lasted until the section in Mons-en-Pévèle. The Belgian rider then followed the group led by Wout Van Aert until the velodrome, enabling him to sprint for second place.

By crossing the line in fourth position, Tom Devriendt offered the best result in the team’s history in a Monument. His teammate Adrien Petit was also impressive and took sixth place. The best French rider at the finish obtained his best result in eleven participations.

The only team with two riders in the top ten was also represented by four others among the 25 best riders, thanks to Alexander Kristoff (12th), Taco van der Hoorn (16th), Andrea Pasqualon (19th) and Baptiste Planckaert (23rd). Kévin Van Melsen, who became father for the second time earlier this week, finished his third Paris-Roubaix in 56th position.

« It was THE day of my life! A fourth place in a Monument, that's crazy! By racing in the front I made the surprising split in the beginning of the race and I stayed out of trouble when a lot of riders crashed on the first cobble sections of the day. When I saw the acceleration of Matej Mohoric with 100 kilometer to go I didn't hesitate to follow him. We were the strongest riders in the breakaway an it was a pity that I couldn't benefit of his work in the front anymore after he punctured. When I was leading alone I chose my own pace, knowing that I needed to save some energy for when I would by joined by the favorites. It was the first time that I raced for the victory in such an important classic and I really had to dig deep. I especially had a difficult moment when Dylan van Baarle accelerated, I still had to survive two cobble sections. In the final I was living in the moment and it was only in the last kilometer that I really realized that I was racing for a top five in Paris-Roubaix. I gave everything in the sprint and I'm so happy with the result! »

« I gave the best of myself an I'm o happy with this sixth place. My performance is part of the remarkable success of the team, especially Tom Devriendt rode a very strong race. I gave everything to stick with the group behind my teammate, on the velodrome I was confident because I always won sprints in chasing groups in the past. After my ninth and tenth places in previous editions it is a fantastic feeling to approach the podium even more in this event which means so much to me! »

 « I'm very proud about what our riders accomplished today! Tom Devriendt showed excellent form the last couple of weeks and even though it was the first time he participated in the final of a Monument, he realized a race without mistakes. Alongside Adrien Petit, I'm convinced that also Taco van der Hoorn was in the run for a top five but just like Alexander Kristoff he had bad luck today. These excellent results are a result of our good material and the confidence our riders had into our plan. We put a lot of energy into our preparation, for example by investing a lot of time into the recon of the parcours and the tests of the tire pressures. With the mechanics and the trainers we established a detailed strategy which led to an extraordinary collective performance. »

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager) Tweet

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