Lady Luck certainly wasn’t on the side of Team Liquigas at last Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, as things went from bad (even before the race) to worse!
Still, Manuel Quinziato, Murillo Fischer, Filippo Pozzato and the guys in green gave it their all at the world’s toughest race.
So, here is a list of 10 things you may not have seen from Paris-Roubaix coverage elsewhere…
1. The order of team cars is crucial in Paris-Roubaix – more so than in any other race. The ongoing rift between the UCI and ASO meant that Liquigas couldn’t count on fine showings at San Remo and Flanders, and instead the position of ALL team cars went to the luck of the draw. Liquigas drew 21st place out of 25 teams!
2. Roubaix is known to be hard on team cars, but this usually applies during the race. Liquigas lost their first car on the way to the sign-in, when a local chap lost control of his car at the exit of the highway and crashed into the green Liquigas Fiat. The incident also damaged a Lampre car which was able to continue. Unfortunately, a Lampre mechanic wasn’t as lucky and went to the hospital, but was seen post-race, working hard and wearing a neck brace!
: 3. With a poor car position and being one car short, Liquigas handed wheels and water bottles out to sponsors and friends with instructions to position themselves at the exit of certain sectors of cobbles. Quinziato benefitted from this at the exit of the Arenberg with a quick wheel change from ex-Liquigas rider Nicola Loda.
4. Before the Arenberg, Liquigas lost their second team car! A quick change to an organization car meant they were back up and running, but unfortunately, bad luck would continue to come at the worst possible moments.
5. Filippo Pozzato crashed before the Arenberg and resulted in a hard hit to his right thigh and knee. He valiantly chased for 35 km back to the Boonen group, but would then pay for his effort in chasing back.
6. Pippo started the race aboard his San Remo Special Cannondale SuperSix with Fulcrum Racing Speed high profile carbon rims and standard tires in order to roll faster over the first 90km, thus saving energy for the cobbles. He switched to his cobble machine at the feed zone after the second sector of pave. This bike was equipped with Fulcrum Racing Light low profile wheels with Vittoria 27’s for a more supple ride over the jarring cobble sectors.
7. Manuel Quinziato damaged his rear derailleur before the Arenburg Forest and then broke a wheel in that feared sector. A wheel change added yet more time to his chase, but a gutsy ride by the rider from Bolzano netted him a solid 13th place.
8. Pippo’s preferred race-day breakfast? He’s very specific… an omelette made with four whites and one yolk!
9. Not knowing the fate of his teammates behind, Murillo Fischer attacked the first main group in the Arenberg Forest and exited the sector in third place of the main chase group.
10. Cyclocross star Enrico Franzoi was another victim of the day’s bad luck, having flatted at a most inopportune time when the car troubles began.