Adrien Petit loves Paris-Roubaix. This Sunday, for his eleventh participation in the race of his dreams, the northerner demonstrated it again by achieving the best result of his career in “The Hell of the North”, in his land and in his cobblestones that he loves so much. 10th in 2016, 9th in 2017, 15th in 2019, this time he took his place just outside the Top 5 under his new Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert colors (see classification). “When I saw the start of the season that I did, the legs that I had in Ghent-Wevelgem, I was necessarily confident. But my flu, ten days ago, affected my morale. I canceled my participation in the Scheldt and the Amstel because I was at the bottom of the pot. I didn’t feel good during the Tour of Flanders… But I stayed focused. I did another six hour 200km session on Thursday. The work paid off”, rejoices at the microphone of DirectVeloin a mixed zone, in the heart of the Roubaix velodrome.
“Honestly, I am very happy with my career. I came here not knowing where I was standing but I did my best”insists the one who found himself, in the last hour of the race, in the group of favorites who played for victory. “Before the second feed zone I had to change my bike after a puncture and that put me off a bit, even if I benefited from the following cars to come back. I left a lot of cartridges there, but in the end I found myself in the strong group. He had very good legs.”. Dutchman Dylan van Baarle (INEOS Grenadiers) then cruised to victory countering other accelerations, including unsustainable Slovenian Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious). “When it came out, I couldn’t go. I had cramps, it was terrible. I don’t regret having. Tom Devriendt finished fourth. We had a great race.”.
“I COME CLOSER”
Late in the race, he collaborated with compatriot Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic) to save a spot in the Top 10. “We had to get along so we didn’t get caught by the groups behind. I drove the most on the cobblestones and he replaced me on the road. He allowed us to go back to Mathieu (van der Poel) and Jasper Stuyven. In the velodrome, I’ve rarely been beaten in the sprint, even if it’s never for the win (smile). So I was pretty confident.”. Also with Tom Devriendt 4th, the Belgian WorldTeam put together a very good showing and a solid campaign in the Classics after Biniam Girmay’s victory in Ghent-Wevelgem and Alexander Kristoff’s in Scheldt. “Tom deserves it too. He had been in perfect condition for three weeks..
For his part, Adrien Petit has never been so close to his ultimate career dream. “Every year, I’m not far behind. 9, 10… It’s great to be even closer to the podium. I’m really happy. This confirms that this race suits me very well. The podium, I don’t know if I’ll get there one day but in any case, I’m getting closer and closer “, smile to conclude. In a great physical difficulty a few days ago, the 31-year-old athlete once again demonstrates how valuable it is to show resilience.