Cycling | 8 april 2018
Jansen shows his potential in Paris-Roubaix
Amund Grondahl Jansen has battled for a top ten position for a very long time in the 116th edition of Paris-Roubaix. The 24-year-old Norwegian was in the front during the final and even forced the pace on the hellish cobblestones of Mons-en-Pevele. Jansen found himself in a group with multiple monument winners Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb and eventually finished sixteenth.
In this edition - 257 kilometres long with 29 cobblestone sections -, the race was full on from the beginning. Just like last week in the Tour of Flanders, it took a long time before the break of the day established. On the first cobblestone section there was a massive crash after which team leader Timo Roosen’s chances on a good classification were gone. Due to a puncture, Dylan Groenewegen, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Maarten Wijnants also dropped back. Bram Tankink raced aggressively and showed himself well during the race.
Jansen, who extended his contract with two years, was very happy with his race, but realized that he could have done even better. “I was very strong but I lacked a bit of self-confidence to go with the favourites at the decisive moments. Sixteenth is my best result in a big classic and I’m happy with my development as a cyclist. I was in the lead of the group at Mons-en-Pevele, but then Terpstra attacked. A few guys couldn’t hold his wheel and I hesitated too long to join. I did have the legs for a top ten finish, but to be able to pull this off everything had to fall into place. This is a first step for the future. Today I have learned that I can battle with the best in such a race.”
Sports director Nico Verhoeven thought it was an atypical Paris-Roubaix. “The race was full on from the beginning. Normally, there are a few moments in a race that you can recover, that you can still correct things, but this wasn’t the case today. We had a few punctures and equipment problems after which Dylan, Timo and Pascal’s chances on a good result were gone at an early stage. Maarten punctured twice in the final, otherwise he would have been with Amund in the battle for a top ten position. Amund was very strong today. He was in the front all day and didn’t have any problems. With some luck he might have done a bit better, but he has shown what he is capable of.”