Scotson steps up at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs to take fifth placeSun 27 May 2018
Chinese UCI Continental outfit Mitchelton-BikeExchange took to the cobbles for the first time at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs in France today with young Australian Callum Scotson producing a strong ride to finish fifth.
Scotson made a key decision to bridge across to the leading group with around 50kilometres to go and didn’t look back.
Riding the moves as the race continued to split apart into the closing kilometres, Scotson just lost contact with the leading trio as they entered the iconic velodrome with Stan Dewulf (Lotto-Soudal-U23) winning what came down to a fast two-up sprint.
The action started early with nine-rider breakaway eventually forging clear over the opening 60kilometres and gaining just over two minutes on the peloton before fresh attacks started to spring from the chasing pack.
Small groups of riders dangled between the peloton and the leaders with 70kilometres to go and only one minute separating the entire field. A few stern accelerations later and Team-Sunweb took the initiative in the peloton, bringing the front of the race to within 45seconds.
These bursts of speed also split the peloton, with maybe 20riders forming the first group and Scotson part of it for Mitchelton-BikeExchange.
The 21-year-old held his position at the front as the race split again and again with Scotson part of a leading quintet that hit the famous Carrefour de l’Arbre section of cobbles inside the closing 20kilometres and riding well.
Constant attacks and splits continued over the final cobbled sections with Scoston left chasing the leaders as they entered the velodrome with Dewulf taking the eventual victory.
“The race was really good, my legs didn't feel amazing to begin with and it was a hard and crazy start but then as I got further through I felt better and better. People were getting tired so I knew I needed to make a move with about 50kilometres to go.”
“A few of us got across to the front guys and then it was a race between about six of us in the end. I was right there on the last hard section but just a bit unfortunate and ended up about 30metres behind at the end of the last cobble section.
"I tried hard to get back to the front three but didn't quite have the legs. In the end I came in for fifth, I was disappointed to just miss the top three but also very happy with my race and the support from the team.”
Paris-Roubaix Espoirs results:
1. Stan Dewulf (Lotto-Soudal-U23)
2. Julius Van den Berg (SEG-Racing-Academy)
3. Thymen Arensman (SEG-Racing-Academy)
5. Callum Scotson (Mitchelton-BikeExchange)
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.