ProTeam Alec Segaert looks ahead to his very first Paris-Roubaix as a pro rider

He finished second as a junior, and last year, the entire Lotto Dstny development team finished in the top 20, with Tijl De Decker as the winner. Alec Segaert (21) has a special connection with Paris-Roubaix. And tomorrow, he will ride it for the first time as a pro.
Race 06 April 2024

"I've been looking forward to this since the beginning of the season," says Alec Segaert. "Paris-Roubaix is my race. Not only is it a race suited for riders with my profile, but it's also everything around it. The heroism, the images that people see at home on television, the stories. The first ten to cross the line get attention and have their story, but even the sixty riders who come after them, no matter in what place or time, have one too. That's what makes Paris-Roubaix unique." 

For Alec, it's also about the memories. When the six-man U23 team of Lotto Dstny finished in the top 20 last year - Alec himself in 20th place - Tijl De Decker won. "I've been thinking about Tijl all week. Friends of his that I got to know after his funeral sent me messages wishing me luck. Last year, he and Joshua Giddings stayed at my house the week before the race. We just had to win that race, that's what we agreed on back then (laughs). I have beautiful memories of that period, and I'm sure that if I have a tough moment during the race on Sunday, my thoughts will go to Tijl. 'For Tijl', that motivates me." 

Segaert will be at the start as a pro rider for the first time tomorrow. "It will be my longest race so far. I've done 230 kilometers before, but never 260. The Trouée d'Arenberg is also new to me. I went there for the first time last winter. The stretch is not too far from my home; I can include Wallers in a 6-hour training ride. It was quite a shock when I rode over it for the first time (laughs). And especially now, with the famous 'chicane,' it will only seem harder and longer. I know the last 40 kilometers well. I train there regularly. I even became a 'local legend' on that segment on Strava."   

An early breakaway is what Alec Segaert hopes for on Sunday. "And if not, just survive as long as possible. Without any bad luck, I think I can go far. So much can happen, but the effort suits me. Paris-Roubaix is just hard racing. I'm really looking forward to it. And hopefully, by the end of the day, I can ride onto the track with a great story of my own." 


Picture: Brecht Steenhouwer