Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto) has admitted he wasn't good enough to be a contender at Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian rider was aiming to make the decisive break at the Spring Classic's 106th running, but was unable to keep the pace of Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) and race winner Tom Boonen (Quick Step).
"I was not bad, but there were three better," the Belgian told HLN.be. "The conclusion is, therefore, I was not good enough to be entitled to enjoy the victory. If your goal is to participate sprinting for the victory and you [are up against] three trains, you are disappointed."
Hoste, who was Silence-Lotto's highest finisher in sixth place, was taken out of contention when a move by Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) and Stjin Devolder (Quick Step) resulted in an increased pace at the head of the race. The duo's move was brought back, at which point Cancellara, Ballan and Boonen counter-attacked, riding off into the distance.
While the Belgian was out-raced by the podium getters, Hoste was able to stay with O'Grady to get his best finish at the French event. Hoste's previous highest ranking was in 2004 when he claimed 12th spot while riding for Lotto-Domo.
"Tom was especially super," said Hoste. "In recent weeks almost everyone said that he appeared to be less [prepared] than in previous years. I have also said that, but the other part does not surprise me, that he was complete today."