Stuart O'Grady nailed the big one on Sunday, the Queen of Classics: Paris-Roubaix. The straight-talking, likable Australian punched the accelerator with 23 kilometres to go to scribe his name in Roubaix's history book. Cyclingnews' Gregor Brown caught up with him the following day in Belgium, where he explained the emotion of winning one of the five monuments of his sport.
Prior to his historic victory, the 33 year-old had explained his Team CSC would approach Paris-Roubaix with its options open, but that the main goal was to help Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider returned for this year's edition to defend his crown and the team wanted to do everything possible to make that happen.
When Cyclingnews spoke to a fresh O'Grady the day before Roubaix, he observed: "the race can be decided in a matter of seconds; in every sector of cobbles something can happen. We have to have a plan A, B and C. Obviously we have a plan A but you have to have back up plans in the case something else happens."
With hot temperatures and Cancellara's form not at his optimum, plan A was quashed and the ProTour squad quickly implemented plan B. "I was definitely the plan B," noted O'Grady, who celebrated long into Sunday night with teammates, team staff and friends. "With Fabian the defending champion it is his race, there is no ifs, ands or buts about it. I knew the form was good and if the stars were lined up in my favour then...
"I don't want to take any of the focus away from Fabian, he was the team leader and that's it," highlighted the South Australian. "But, like we talked about on Saturday, in Paris-Roubaix you have to be prepared for every possible circumstance."
For the full post-Roubaix interview with Stuart O'Grady, click here.