How the Hell was won

Stuart O'Grady's victory in Paris-Roubaix , arguably the world's toughest one-day bike race, was...

Stuart O'Grady's victory in Paris-Roubaix, arguably the world's toughest one-day bike race, was (quite literally) a monumental achievement for the Aussie and his Team CSC. Team director Scott Sunderland was in charge of the CSC crew for those epic six hours and gave Cyclingnews his thoughts on how the Hell was won.

"The day before the race, I had actually put the quote I used for years on my diary pages underneath the team's race day schedule. Some of the riders and staff were very moved by that bit of prose. It set the tone for what was to come.

"After analysing the Tour of Flanders, the warm weather and windless conditions; and with the same forecast for the Paris-Roubaix weekend I knew it wasn't going to be your usual day in Hell. Also, noticing the comments made by other top favourites, targeting Fabian Cancellara as the man to beat and the pressure he was consequently receiving from the press, I realised that I would have to apply different tactics for this race.

"All the other top favourites were going to sit and wait for Fabian to make his move like he did in Tour of Flanders. Fabian took responsibility and lifted all that pressure onto his own shoulders, leaving his team mates in a comfort zone in which they could mentally prepare for the race in peace. To be the absolute favourite for Paris-Roubaix is a heavy load to carry. Fabian had daily interviews with media from all over the world in the days leading up to the race. He could have refused but he's such a nice person and wanted to do his bit for the press and the sponsors. It was demanding and tiring. I realized it was going to prove a burden on the day itself and I knew we would have to play the game differently."

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