Mitch Docker, Mathew Hayman and Jens Keukeleire Talk Paris-RoubaixSun 13 Apr 2014
Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) entered the velodrome in Roubaix alone. Following the final sector of pave, the Dutchman attacked an elite group of ten riders that included the likes of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin), Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky). Terpstra let out a roar of joy as he celebrated the biggest win of his career some 20” before John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) edged out Cancellara in the small group sprint for second.
Jens Keukeleire was the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE, slotting into 25th place. The Belgian was part of an eight rider group that crossed the line 1’05 after Terpstra’s monumental victory. Mitch Docker finished with the fourth group to make its way into the exalted track stadium. Alongside Taylor Phinney (BMC), Lars Boom (Belkin) and former winner Johan Vansummeren (Garmin Sharp), Docker rolled across the finish.
Mathew Hayman was alone when as crossed the line. Twice in the top ten and quietly ambitious about his chances to break into the top five or even climb onto the podium, Hayman was admittedly disappointed to finish in 41st place at 4’14. Two mechanicals in the final ten kilometres had spoiled his chances.
Luke Durbridge finished his second Paris-Roubaix in 90th place the Sunday after he had crashed out of his first Tour of Flanders. Jens Mouris slotted into 118th, more than 18’ down but he made it to the velodrome. Anonymous results that fail to tell the story of their contributions to their team leader. Durbridge and Mouris survived the Trouée d’Arenberg alongside Keukeleire, Docker and Hayman, affording Hayman additional sets of hands and legs as the kilometres ticked down.
Michael Hepburn finished his first Paris-Roubaix. The week prior he had made it to the finish of his first Tour of Flanders. Two huge feats for the young rider.
Sam Bewley suffered a heavy crash in the first half of his first Paris-Roubaix, injuring his wrist. The Roubaix first-timer had dreamt of the velodrome. Instead his race ended in the hospital. While we, like he, wish he had made it to the finish, Bewley’s work was done by the time he had crashed. The New Zealander successfully looked after Hayman in the oft-chaotic early action.
Aidis Kruopis didn’t make it to the velodrome either. When Docker punctured at a critical moment in the race, Kruopis handed over his wheel. The Lithuanian waited for a new wheel as the race rode away from him and eventually he pulled the plug.
We often only hear the story of the winners, the almost winners and the unexpected losers, but in every race, every rider has a story. We had eight stories today in the battle that was Paris-Roubaix. Docker, Hayman and Keukeleire tell you three such stories below. Stay tuned for our Paris-Roubaix Backstage Pass for additional insight into one of the most exciting days of the cycling season.
We were really active in the race today. We were more active than we’ve ever been at Paris-Roubaix. Even though we didn’t come up with the final result we would have wanted, we followed the plan we hoped would get us there. The idea was that Jens Keukeleire and I needed to come through the Trouée d’Arenberg with Mat Hayman so that we could support him with whatever he needed. We came out of the forest with five guys – the three of us plus Luke Durbridge and Jens Mouris.
Mat was really good today. We was jumping in moves and riding really aggressively. It was unfortunate that he had a puncture at the end. Jens was also pretty aggressive. None of us were content to just follow moves. We all tried to make the race.
I told Matt Wilson that I’m really excited about the team’s future in Roubaix. We had a plan here, and we executed. While things didn’t work out so well for us in the Flemish Classics, we showed today that this race suits our team. For a relatively inexperienced team, I think we did a lot.
Jens and I had made it through the Carrefour d’Arbre just behind the group that ended up sprinting for second. We were still in the race at that point. Unfortunately, I had a puncture right after that sector. I got a wheel fairly quickly, but even the quick wheel change put me three or four groups back.
The spare wheel folded on me on the last sector of cobbles, and I ended up crashing. I had to wait for another wheel. My result doesn’t reflect the work we did or my condition. It was really disappointing.
The team was great day. Everybody had the opportunity to contribute, and we all rode a great race. Our biggest bit of bad luck probably came with Sam crashing hard pretty early. He had done a great job to stay with me up until that point.
It was a shame I couldn’t finish it off for the team after everything they did for me. I wasn’t beaten by the other riders today but by the race – but that’s part of Paris Roubaix, isn’t it? Maybe I was looking for the dirt too much at Carrefour d’Arbre and that’s how I got the puncture. Everybody was at their limit there.
We had three guys in the front group by the time a final selection of 30 was made, and we were looking out for each other really well. I’m definitely happy about that. It’s just a shame that we don’t have a result to speak of for the way we rode.
By the time we hit the Carrefour d’Arbre, I could only follow wheels. I was having a really good day up until that point actually. I had an early crash, but it wasn’t too bad, and I had an early puncture as well, but I was able to get back to the front easily. I don’t think anyone makes it through Paris-Roubaix without some sort of trouble.
We started riding aggressively from 60 kilometres, which was when we started to go into a couple of moves. I felt good until Carrefour d’Arbre. I think if you still feel good at that moment, that’s how you know you’re up for the win. For me, from that moment to the finish, it was just survival.