ProTeam Florian Vermeersch shows fighting spirit at Paris-Roubaix
Lotto Dstny rider Florian Vermeersch took 12th place in the fastest ever edition of Paris-Roubaix. The 24-year-old Belgian once again showed his fine spring Classics form and finished like last week in de Ronde, just outside the top ten of a cycling Monument.
The 120th Hell of the North was opened on the cobbled sector just before the famous Trouée d’Arenberg, where an elite group rode away. Lotto Dstny missed the move but it was Florian Vermeersch who would later try to bridge towards the front together with the duo Laporte – Van Hooydonck. The trio came within one minute of the head of the race but could not make the connection after a long chase. At the front, Van der Poel soloed to victory in a crazy final, Florian Vermeersch sprinted to twelfth on the Velodrome of Roubaix, some four minutes later.
Florian Vermeersch: “Unfortunately we missed the move on the Haveluy sector. As a team we maybe made a mistake there but I’m quite happy with my race today. I did everything to return to the front and eventually we came quite close to the head of the race. But when I heard they were attacking, I realized it would be really difficult. I felt strong today and a top ten would have been nice but I have to settle with this result.”
With a 12th place at both the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix, Vermeersch looks back on a solid cobbled campaign. “To finish twice inside the top fifteen of a Monument definitely makes me happy. Maybe I finish today with an unsatisfied feeling but I’m sure it will turn into pride soon. We took a nice step as a team, but we have still some things to learn’, concludes the 24-year-old.
Debutant Arnaud De Lie concluded his first Roubaix on a 50th place but had to deal with some bad luck along the way. “I felt strong and I really enjoyed today. Unfortunately, I punctured in the Arenberg forest but I kept fighting. Eventually, I could still return in the bunch that would sprint for 15th. But sadly, I punctured again on the final sector. It’s a pity but this was a nice first taste of Hell.”
Lotto Dstny rider Sébastien Grignard crashed hard on one of the first sectors and was brought to hospital, where no fractures were diagnosed. Still, the 23-year-old suffers from a concussion, a deep cut around the eye and a bruising to the shoulder, meaning he won’t be able to race for a while.
Images: Photo News.