Bahrain Victorious played an active role again at this year’s Paris-Roubaix a few months after celebrating Sonny Colbrelli’s success in the Vélodrome André-Pétrieux.
This time it was Matej Mohorič who put in an impressive performance at the Hell of the North. Brave and so willing to take a victory for his teammate forced at home, the Slovenian Champion was one of the most combative of the day. He was part of a 5-man group of attackers that opened a gap jumping from the first group before the Trouée d’Arenberg sector, after a fast and furious first part of the race, where the peloton split because of crosswinds.
It was only a puncture to interrupt his mission and dream of glory, with 37.5km to go, when he was leading with just one other rider. Despite the misfortune, Mohorič was able to stay with the strongest riders of the day, who caught him when he had to stop to change the wheel. On the cobbles of Camphin-en- Pévèle, van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) attacked to take a solo win, ahead of Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) and Küng (Groupama-FDJ). Matej was in the group sprinting for the podium, but he paid for the great efforts throughout the day and in the end, had to settle for 5th place despite his exceptional performance.
Matej Mohorič: “I can’t say I was unlucky today, but I could do without that puncture. Maybe, I could stay at the front much longer because we were getting along together and collaborating with the rider in front alongside me. I wanted the podium for myself and the team, as we did a great race today, but at the sprint in the velodrome, I was without legs and energy left. More than this result was impossible to take today. I had Sonny in my mind all day long. I wanted to take a victory for him. We will try again next year, maybe with him”.
Michal Golas, Bahrain Victorious Sports Director: “Matej rode a great race. He was on the attack almost all the race and deserved the podium. But we should be happy with how he performed. He gave everything he had, and everybody saw and enjoyed his amazing performance. He missed something in the end, but he was with the strongest guys and did everything possible”.
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— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com