It’s a historical victory for Bahrain Victorious as Sonny Colbrelli took the Queen of the Classics. The most brutal race on the calendar and the most awaited after an absence of more than a year.
At his first appearance at the Paris-Roubaix the reigning European Champion put on an impressive performance across the 55Km of wet and muddy cobblestones, spread over the 257.7km legendary course from Compiègne to the velodrome of Roubaix, where he outsprinted his companions of a late attack Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix).
Sonny Colbrelli: “It was my first Roubaix, and I can’t still believe I won it. This morning I couldn’t think about a win. I started without any pressure, I just wanted to have fun on a race I always dreamt about. I felt well and better km after km. So I wanted to try to take my opportunity, attacking maybe a bit early, but I learned watching past editions that it was a good moment to try. I worked well with Van der Poel, and I was also lucky not to have any bad luck, any puncture or mechanical. I almost crashed a few times, but I was very focused to stay up. Then I gave everything that I had left to take the win. I’m speechless. I can’t believe I won the Roubaix. I want to dedicate it to my family, the whole team and my fans. It has been a fantastic season for me so far”.
The 118th edition didn’t disappoint those looking for an epic day. After almost twenty years since the last time, it was pouring rain at the start and all along the first half of the course.
Bahrain Victorious team was among the most active, with two riders in the breakaway earlier in the race, Fred Wright and Marco Haller. The experienced Heinrich Haussler also showed how much this race is his favourite one, finishing his 15th Roubaix in tears for the happiness of this team’s success and finishing in the top ten.
Head of Performance, Roger Hammond: “No words we can say to describe this fantastic achievement for Sonny. The performance he did was outstanding. It was a combination of a lot of hard work of many people in the team. You have to be prepared to face a race like Roubaix taking care of every aspect and the unexpected. Everybody in the team, including the staff members, did everything perfectly and as planned. From the team car, Rolf Aldag and I gave suggestions to Sonny, particularly for the sprint as at Roubaix is not normal. But he was very confident and he took the victory of a lifetime”.
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— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com