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Paris-Roubaix Espoirs - 1.2
France, May 28, 2006
Veelers always on two wheels
By Jean-François Quénet in Roubaix
Rabobank started as defending champions with only four riders, due to the Tour of Belgium and a Dutch cup race at the same time, but dominated the under 23 version of Paris-Roubaix with only one man, Tom Veelers.
A breakaway went after no more than 20 kilometers with Jurgen François (CT Pollentier Lombarden), Fabien Baquet and Damien Robert (CC Nogent), Sébastien Turgot and Perrig Quéméneur (Vendée U), Pieter Vanspeybroeck (Beveren 2000), Kristoffer Nielsen (GLS), Martin Mortensen (VC Roubaix), Anthony Colin (ESEG Douai), Alexei Kolessov and Clément Lhotellerie (VC La Pomme), Christian Puricelli (Swiss national team), Arturs Ansons (VS Albi) and Veelers.
"It was early, the latter explained, but as the group was big, I had to be there. For the first hour I waited for another Rabobank to come across, but I was by myself all the time. I wasn't worried though. I was fortunate that I didn't have any crash or flat tyre."
The front group split up a few times. But no one who had missed it managed to see the front of the race, although the different chasers have been noticed around about one minute behind. With 30km to go, a solo attack was launched by Frenchman Anthony Colin coached by the former pro Laurent Pillon whose only win was a team time trial with Mario Cipollini's MG-GB team in the 1993 Tour de France. He got himself a 30 seconds gap but was later overtaken by Veelers, Nielsen and Vanspeybroeck.
The Belgian got dropped within the last 10 kilometers and Veelers had no problem beating Nielsen in the final sprint. "I was very confident because I'm a good sprinter when it's hard and I knew that the Danish rider wasn't the usual sprinter in his GLS team", said the young Dutchman from Oud Marsum near the German border. Veelers, 21, had recently won three stages and GC at the Olympia Tour in Holland.
"I knew he was fast, 21 years old Nielsen said. But coming second is a very big result for me. After winning the king of the mountain jersey at the Giro delle Regioni, I prove to be an all rounder. Maybe it will attract some attention from Team CSC who had already signed two riders from our team, Matti Breschel and Martin Pedersen, I'd like to be the third one."
But maybe the most impressive rider of the day has been 19 years old Michael Schär, fourth in Roubaix. He wasn't a member of the early breakaway but he jumped from group to group and almost rejoined the top three.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Jean-Francois Quenet
1 Tom Veelers (Ned) Rabobank Continental 4.32.36 2 Kristoffer Nielsen (Den) Team GLS Cycling 3 Pieter Vanspeybroeck (Bel) Beveren 2000 0.11 4 Michael Schar (Swi) Swiss U23 Team 0.26 5 Martin Mortensen (Den) Velo Club De Roubaix Lille Metropole 6 Arturs Ansons (Lat) Albi Velo Sport 0.32 7 Clément Lhotelllerie (Fra) V.C.La Pomme Marseille 0.55 8 Anthony Colin (Fra) Eseg Douai 9 Damien Robert (Fra) C.C.Nogent Sur Oise 1.57 10 Alexei Kolessov (Kaz) V.C.La Pomme Marseille 11 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Vendee U 2.18 12 Matthias Vanhie (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond 13 Dries Van Der Ginst (Bel) V.Z.W.Cycling Team Pollentier Lombarden 14 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Vendee U 2.25 15 Styn Joseph (Bel) Beveren 2000 3.18 16 Tom Huyvaert (Bel) V.Z.W.Cycling Team Pollentier Lombarden 17 Kevin Lalouette (Fra) C.C.Nogent Sur Oise 18 Romain Borgoo (Fra) Pole France Cycliste Wasquehal 19 Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Super Sport 35 - ACNC 20 John Murphy (USA) USA National Team 4.09 21 Stijn Minne (Bel) Team Sean Kelly 22 Nazareno Rossi (Swi) Swiss U23 Team 4.15 23 Frederick Herpol (Bel) Wanadoo-Colba-Abm 5.27 24 Ignas Konovalovas (Ltu) V.C.La Pomme Marseille 5.37 25 Goeffrey Deresmes (Fra) Eseg Douai 6.40 26 Tony Huet (Fra) U.C.Chateauroux 27 Stéphane Poulhies (Fra) Albi Velo Sport 6.45 28 Kévyn Ista (Bel) Velo Club De Roubaix Lille Metropole 7.25 29 Ludovic Bret (Fra) Vendee U 7.36 30 Styn Neirynck (Bel) Beveren 2000 31 Huub Duyn (Ned) Rabobank Continental 32 David Deroo (Fra) Velo Club De Roubaix Lille Metropole 10.36 33 Thomas Riber-Sellebjerg (Den) Team GLS Cycling 34 Jérémy Honorez (Bel) Team Wallonie Espoirs 11.07 35 Kim Borry (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond 36 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Pole France Cycliste Wasquehal 37 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Albi Velo Sport 38 Christophe Masson (Fra) Pole France Cycliste Wasquehal 39 Samuel Mazzucchelli (Ita) U.C.Pregnana 40 Jaspen Melis (Bel) Beveren 2000 41 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Rabobank Continental 42 James Goossens (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond 12.39 Outside time limit (hors delai) HD Michal Ladosz (Pol) Velo Club De Roubaix Lille Metropole HD Nicolas Suzanne (Fra) U.S.Saint-Austreberthe-Pavilly-Barentin HD Vincent Laroy (Bel) Royal Pesant Club Liegois HD Ruslan Sambris (Mda) V.C.La Pomme Marseille HD Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Vendee U HD Charles Philippe Mary (Fra) U.S.Saint-Austreberthe-Pavilly-Barentin HD Kobe Vanoverschelde (Bel) V.Z.W.Cycling Team Pollentier Lombarden HD Jonas Decouttere (Bel) V.Z.W.Cycling Team Pollentier Lombarden HD Gaetan Guernion (Fra) Super Sport 35 - ACNC HD Bastien Delrot (Fra) Velo Club De Roubaix Lille Metropole HD Andrew Mc Quaid (Irl) Team Sean Kelly HD Gael Malacarne (Fra) Cotes D'Armor Cyclisme HD Casper Eibye (Den) Team Kvickly Odder Espoirs HD Kévin Cherruault (Fra) Nantes Atlantique-Team U HD Florent Barle (Fra) Super Sport 35 - ACNC HD Alexandre Bosquain (Fra) U.S.Saint-Austreberthe-Pavilly-Barentin HD Adelfred Jensen-Martin (Den) Team Kvickly Odder Espoirs HD Guillaume Malle (Fra) U.S.Saint-Austreberthe-Pavilly-Barentin HD Vincent Graczyk (Fra) U.C.Chateauroux HD Kristof Taillieu (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond HD Jurgen Francois (Bel) V.Z.W.Cycling Team Pollentier Lombarden HD Kasper Jebjerg (Den) Team GLS Cycling HD Thomas Kristiansen (Den) Team GLS Cycling HD Ciaran Kelly (Irl) Team Sean Kelly HD Alexandre Roger (Fra) U.C.Chateauroux HD Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Rabobank Continental HD Juan Van Heerden (RSA) Vendee U HD Alexander Chamon (Bel) WC Soenens-Germond
2005 Dimitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank 2004 Koen De Kort (Ned) Rabobank TT3 2003 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) 2002 Mikhael Timochine (Rus) Zoccorinese Vellutex 2001 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Zoccorinese Vellutex 2000 Eric Baumann (Ger) Germany Past winners courtesy of Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com