In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.
Guesdon: ‘I had to finish’ — L’Équipe
The last French winner of Paris Roubaix, Frédéric Guesdon, rode the final race of his career on Sunday. What he had hoped to be a fitting farewell turned sour, as the 40-year-old was caught behind crashes and with mechanicals early in the race. Nonetheless, he soldiered on, fighting through the cobbles with Kristoff Goedert (AG2R La Mondiale) and eventually finishing in 88th place, 18:52 off Tom Boonen.
“At one point I thought about quitting. But there were many people left with me, I found a small group,” Guesdon said. “With Kristoff Goddaert, we rode the Carrefour de l’Arbre at our own pace. To not have regrets, we had to finish.
“I wanted to influence the race. I did not deserve this,” he added. “I had done everything well.”
Terpstra: ‘The next segment came too early’ — De Telegraaf
Niki Terpstra found himself in the ideal position on Sunday, off the front with his team leader Tom Boonen, driving hard away from the field. But almost as soon as the breakaway set off, the Dutchman was popped off the back wheel of his own teammate and sent back to the chase group. There simply wasn’t enough good tarmac to recover before the next section of pavé, the rider said.
“I thought, this is a beautiful situation, together with Boonen,” Terpstra said. “But the next cobblestone section came too early.
“He just drove harder. I could not keep up. He shouldn’t wait, because that will cost you vital seconds.”
Meares will be confident of Olympic glory, says coach — Sunday Morning Herald
Despite her loss to reigning Olympic sprint champion Victoria Pendleton, Australian Anna Meares will enter this summer’s London Olympics with confidence, says her coach Kevin Tabotta.
Meares thought she had Pendleton beaten in straight sets, only to lose the pair’s third match sprint in a photo finish after the Australian was relegated for an illegal ride in their second sprint. She then responded by winning her second consective keirin world title.
“She will take great strength from this competition, she knows she can win a world title, she knows she has produced the fastest first lap in the world in history and that she’s got the world record over 200. So she knows she’s the fastest sprinter in the world,” Tabotta said.
“If the game plan is put together right on the day, she can win any one of her three events. The key is being able to do it on the day.”
Ballan and Turgot: ‘Boonen was too strong’ — Gazet Van Antwerpen
The final Roubaix battle between Italian Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) and Frenchman Sébastien Turgot(Europcar) was a tight one, with less than a tire’s width separating second and third place. But both agreed that their result was the best possible, given the fantastic ride of Tom Boonen.
“Perhaps I attacked too early, but today Boonen was definitely too strong. At the time he escaped, I tried to close the gap behind Hushovd but I was asked not to follow through on the radio,” Ballan said. “Where I was disappointed last week with my third place in the Tour of Flanders, I am satisfied with my third place today.”
“I never imagined I would be second over the line in my second Paris-Roubaix,” Turgot said. “Sixty kilometers before the finish I ventured my chance and I felt I had good legs. In the last corner I had to deal with equipment problems, but I put everything back into that second place to win. I have some experience on the track, which is certainly to my advantage. Boonen proved today that he is untouchable, there was no way to bring him back.”