HAMMOND: “I HAD EVERYTHING BUT THE LEGS”
Roger Hammond finished an impressive seventh in Paris-Roubaix, just 55 seconds behind winneer Stuart O'Grady (CSC). But he admitted to Cycling Weekly that he was “still paying for Ghent-Wevelgem this Sunday in Paris-Roubaix. I was only at about 80 or 90 percent of my full strength.”
Just like in Wednesday's Ghent-Wevelgem, Hammond was in the early break. He lost contact after the Arenberg Forest when someone attacked but then got back across with final winner O’Grady with 30 kilometres to go.
However when O’Grady attacked almost immediately afterwards, Hammond had “nothing left in the tank. Getting back across used up what energy I had had. In any case, I wouldn’t exchange what happened at Ghent-Wevelgem to have been at 100 percent at Roubaix’s start-line. Anything could have happened and Wevelgem’s in the bag.”
Hammond also punctured early on in the cobbles and had to struggled with the wheel he was given. “I got a neutral service wheel that was pumped up to about five bars pressure. Roubaix’s not exactly a place where it’s easy to change a wheel again, so I had to ride to the finish on that, which didn’t help.”
Britain’s other rider Steve Cummings rode well for his Discovery Channel Thomas Vaiktus, but then started cramping up just before Arenberg and abandoned at the second feed.
BACKSTEDT TROUBLED BY BACK WHEEL
Magnus Backstedt finished 47th, after suffering a broken back wheel 60 kilometres from the finish when attacks were going left right and centre.
“I was disapointed that that happened, but after everything that had gone before, I was pleased that even after 200 kilometres I was still up there close to the front.” he told CW.
There will be detailed reports from Paris-Roubaix and Ghent-Wevelgem in Thursday's Cycling Weekly.
You can see a gallery of Paris-Roubaix photos by CW's Andy Jones by clicking here