Catalan climber joins early break, stays at race lead until last 70km after crossing Arenberg forest in second position; Erviti best Movistar Team rider at Velodrome’s finish (30th), just over 4′ behind Peter Sagan (BOH). Nelson Oliveira suffers hard crash before cobblestones.
The 116th edition of Paris-Roubaix had two ups and one down for the Movistar Team, tackling a way more slippery course than in previous years – mostly on the 55km of cobblestones before the Velodrome. The day’s best news came from Marc Soler, a big protagonist in the early break and able to contain the race’s favourites until sector number 15, 70km before the finish. The winner of Paris-Nice was even able to complete the treacherous Arenberg forest section in second place of all participants. The Catalan’s maiden appearance in ‘L’Enfer du Nord’ was a DNF, yet made stronger a break which served as launchpad for Silvan Dillier (ALM), runner-up behind World Champion Peter Sagan (BOH), who left all other rivals behind with 50km to go.
“I’m really with how things went; it’s been a beautiful experience,” said Soler. “Racing here, enjoying the atmosphere, getting to know the cobblestones, how it works best to go over them – I’ve enjoyed this race as much as I’ve suffered on it. I’ve been able to be part of the early break, already a nice thing since it’s so hard to get in. After that, it was all about trying to get the further I could and survive those sectors. I couldn’t finish, yet it’s been a huge learning success for me – I’m satisfied with my performance here.”
The day’s other fine performance from the Blues came from Imanol Erviti, who made no mistakes and spent all energies available at the favourites’ peloton until dropping back with 30km left. The Blues’ road captain took 30th, just over 4′ after the winner , remembering some of the feelings he had when finishing 9th in 2016. Nuno Bico also completed the race inside the time limit. Worse news came from Nelson Oliveira, who suffered a hard crash – against the grass – just before the first cobbled sector. The Portuguese rider, who always remained conscious, stable and with no immediate, serious injuries, was led to a hospital in Roubaix to undergo checkups on his right-hand shoulder. Radiological exams confirmed a right-hand collarbone fracture.
Picture 1-2 (c): BettiniPhoto.net
- 01 Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe 5h54'06"
- 02 Silvan Dillier AG2R La Mondiale m.t.
- 03 Niki Terpstra Quick Step +57"
- 30 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +4'23"
- 91 Nuno Bico Movistar Team +17'41"
- — Héctor Carretero Movistar Team DNF
- — Carlos Barbero Movistar Team DNF
- — Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team DNF
- — Marc Soler Movistar Team DNF
- — Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team DNF