Paris-Roubaix - Florian Vermeersch: I never thought to be this close to the victory today
Oct 04 2021 07:00 am CET

Paris-Roubaix - Florian Vermeersch: I never thought to be this close to the victory today
Paris-Roubaix - Florian Vermeersch: I never thought to be this close to the victory today
Image: Lotto Soudal logo

Lotto-Soudal's Florian Vermeersch has taken the second place in Paris-Roubaix after a strong performance.

The 22-year-old was in the front part of the race throughout the entire Hell of the North. He was in the initial breakaway, then after the Trouée d'Arenberg, he was part of a leading trio with Gianni Moscon and Tom Van Asbroeck. After Moscon went on his own, he chased and eventually became part of the leading group of three that would eventually fight for the final victory, along Mathieu van der Poel and Sonny Colbrelli.

The young Belgian was the first one to launch the final sprint at the Velodrome of Roubaix, and he was overtaken at the last moment by Colbrelli, having to settle with the second position of the final podium. "At the moment, I am mainly disappointed after this second place, but I think this will soon turn to pride," said Vermeersch. "This performance gives me a lot of confidence towards the future because actually, I never thought to be this close to the victory today. But a second place is also a bit sour as well.

"It felt like war out there, but it gave me a huge kick to be the first rider to take on several cobbled sectors like the mythical Trouée d'Arenberg. Also, the many Belgian fans along the course gave me wings. And my experience as a cyclocross rider came in handy today. Despite it's been a long time I competed in a cyclocross race, sliding on the cobbles still felt familiar.

"After putting in a first attack in the final, I immediately felt that I would not be given any room to play with. I waited a bit and attacked again at two kilometres from the finish. Unfortunately, I couldn't get away. Colbrelli and Van der Poel are able to win bunch sprints, so I had to go for a surprise move. That also succeeded, as I was the first to come out of the last corner. Unfortunately, I was cramping up and Colbrelli could pass me in the final metres."






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