Paris Roubaix (Junior)
Event: 7 April 2013
Report: Eddie Allen/Matt Winston
British Cycling Olympic Development Programme athlete Tao Geoghegan Hart took an impressive third place in the Junior edition of Paris Roubaix, part of a three-man escape group to arrive at the iconic Roubaix velodrome.
Geoghegan Hart’s performance was just deserts for the British Cycling team which worked well together throughout to ensure that they were always in with a shout of race victory come the final run in.
A quartet of British riders, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jacob Ragan, Scott Davies and Oliver Wood, were ever-present in the front of the race, covering the moves and always ensuring that there was a GB presence up front.
On the run-in to the finish, a trio of riders. Tao Geoghegan Hart, Mads Pedersen (DEN) and Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL) broke away from the lead group of 20 and got over a minute over the main field, which was beginning to split behind. Davies and Wood were in the chase group while Ragan was in the second chase group, attacking off the front and almost getting into the first chase group.
In the final run in, Van Hooydonck ‘sat on’ leaving Hart and Pedersen doing the lion’s share of the work, meaning the gap back to the chase group dwindled as the riders reached the velodrome finish. Pedersen took the win from Van Hooydonck with Geoghegan Hart in third. Oliver Wood took sixth place in the bunch sprint with Davies and Ragan both securing top thirty placings with 19th and 26th places respectively.
Chris Lawless and Matt Gibson weren’t so lucky, Lawless jamming his chain on the second set of cobbles. Lawless rejoined after a bike change but dropped behind the time limit and was pulled from the race by the organisers. Matt Gibson suffered a similar fate after falling, gashing his leg and suffering a suspected broken bone in the hand. Gibson soldiered on for 20km but sadly fell behind the time limit and was withdrawn.
Commenting on the team’s performance, British Cycling Olympic Development Programme Endurance Coach Matt Winston said; “I’m really pleased with the team’s performance – the plan was always to be always up in the front of the bike race and making sure we were in the race all the time and covering stuff – which we did – so for the team it really showed in getting four riders up there in the result. Tao’s third place was a good ride by him – got himself in the move and kind of went from there really. Overall a pleasing performance today.”
1 Mads Pedersen (DEN)
2 Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)
3 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBR)
4 Damien Touze (FRA)
5 Edward Plankaert (BEL)
6 Oliver Wood (GBR)
7 Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR)
8 Nino Honigh (NED)
9 Gustav Hoog (SWE)
10 Justin Oien (USA)
19 Scott Davies (GBR)
26 Jacob Ragan (GBR)
DNF Chris Lawless (GBR)
DNF Matt Gibson (GBR)