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Matej Mohorič: From Milan-San Remo to Paris-Roubaix?

After winning cycling's longest monument, Mohorič will now take on cycling's most fearsome race at the Hell of the North.

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After flying down the Poggio to victory in 2022, Matej Mohorič is setting his sights on mastering the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix for 2023.

The Slovenian raider pulled off a monument heist with his stunning victory at Milan-San Remo in 2022, thanks to a spectacular descending skills in the closing kilometers.

Speaking to the Slovenian newspaper Siol, Mohorič is now putting the hardest monument on his radar.

“I’m kind of really looking forward to going back to this race,” Mohorič told Siol. “I was very close this year. In the end, there was no resounding result. I will be more determined next year.”

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For next year, Mohorič is going to raise the bar, and take on cycling’s most fearsome race the feared cobbles of the Hell of the North.

Mohorič was fifth in 2022 in just his third crack at the cobbles of northern France.

The 28-year-old is hoping to pick up where Sonny Colbrelli left off in 2021, who was forced into retirement this season following a cardiac arrest in March. Colbrelli won Roubaix in 2021, and will stay with Bahrain Victorious as a team consultant.

“Stories like this hurt. In the case of Sonny, even more so, because we are very good colleagues. We were mostly in the rooms together. It’s hard to accept,” Mohorič said. “He has not yet accepted, or is having a hard time accepting, that he will not be able to race with us. However, he will probably remain involved in our team. This is life. You have to appreciate things as they are because you never know when it will end.”

Mohorič won San Remo in part by using a dropper-post in his daring descent off the Poggio that distanced the chasing favorites. He’ll need more than that to finish first in the velodrome in Roubaix.

“I think in the Bahrain-Victorious team we have, if not the best, some of the best materials being used,” he said of his San Remo win. “I would say we have a slight competitive advantage.”

COVID derails season at Tour de France

Matej Mohorič was slowed down by COVID-19 in 2022. (Photo: Getty Images)

After flying high last spring, Mohorič crash-landed at the Tour de France. He was struck by COVID-19, and could not follow up on his breakout performance of two stage victories during the 2021 Tour.

“The most resounding success was winning my first Milan-Sanremo monument. This has always been my dream,” he said. “The saddest was the poor performance in the Tour de France.

“I wanted to perform well and show the vitality I felt in the race. It didn’t work out. In the end, it turned out that I had some pretty serious health problems during the race. I got over mononucleosis and COVID-19 at the same time. Fortunately, the disease did not leave any consequences and I am already looking forward to the next season.”

Mohorič says that team doctors say the “problems are behind me.”

He bounced back to cap the season with victory at the CRO Race ahead of Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard in October.

“I’m looking forward to working hard over the winter to get me into next season,” he said. “There are many details that you can work on, improve. They bring you to a higher level. We all do this at the same time. Cycling is therefore at a higher level every year. You must not stand still and look too much at past achievements. You have to keep working.”