Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix was one of the most exciting races in modern day cycling as Matt Hayman surprised pre-race favourites Tom Boonen and Sep Vanmarcke to pick up one of the biggest victories of his career.
But one rider who had only ridden Roubaix once before was disappointed he couldn’t help his leader more in the final 30km.
Mark Cavendish didn’t finish his first Roubaix; but he rode in support of Edvald Boasson-Hagen in his second one as he finished 30th. The Norwegian rider finished fifth behind Hayman, Boonen, Ian Stannard and Vanmarcke.
The race was fast and furious from the get-go and Fabian Cancellara’s crash restricted Cavendish from making up the ground to his leader who was in the lead group.
Cavendish ‘wishes’ he could have done more for Boasson-Hagen
The breakaway took a long time to establish itself, but when it did, there were some big name riders within it, and for the likes of Peter Sagan and Cancellara they were already caught out, before the race had entered the Arenberg Forest.
The 30-year-old was caught further behind that group, and speaking after the race to Cycling Weekly he said: “I did the biggest watts of the race to get over to that, 1400 watts to get over to that.”
The Tour and Flanders and Roubaix are the toughest races for cyclists, and Cavendish explained it’s a ‘hard race’, but the frustration was that he couldn’t help Boasson-Hagen.
Explaining the chaos out on the cobbles, Cavendish said: “I was on the wrong side of the crash when the race split. The road was blocked.”
When the race favourite, Cancellara crashed it caused a big blockage; Sagan showed his outrageous bike handling skills by hopping over the Swiss rider and continuing, and Cavendish said he ‘didn’t know how he kept upright’ as he reminisced about Cancellara’s fateful fall.