Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge) en route to a fifth place finish at E3 Harelbeke.
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Orica GreenEdge rider satisfied with seventh place
"At the end, everybody has a story," said Orica GreenEdge's Classics specialist, Sebastian Langeveld after Paris-Roubaix on Sunday afternoon.
The Dutchman had finished the 111th edition of Paris-Roubaix in seventh place. Wiping away the dirt caked on his face and arms, it was his eyes that told of his effort as he spoke to the surrounding media.
The best card that Orica GreenEdge had to play was set up by a resurgent Stuart O'Grady who had done a mountain of work in a four-man breakaway between sectors 22 and 17 before being caught. Langeveld had taken to the start line in Compiegne having finished fifth at E3 - Harelbeke and 10th at the Tour of Flanders a week ago.
"It was a really hard race," Langeveld said. "There was not a moment where... it was always full gas. I had to wait a little bit with Stuey in the front but for the rest I was pretty isolated. It was good to have Stuey there."
With multiple teams looking to upset the defiant strength of Fabian Cancellara, BMC, Europcar, Blanco and Omega Pharma-Quick-Step threw everything they could at the Swiss and his RadioShack Leopard lieutenants on guard at the front of a rapidly depleting peloton. With 45 kilometres to go, a group of just over a dozen men went clear, with Cancellara making the move too. When the Swiss rider went back to his team car, so too did some of his markers, allowing Langeveld to be in clear space up ahead with Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), Damien Gaudin (Europcar) and Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco).
"I didn't ride to be ahead of Cancellara but to get the best result possible," Langeveld explained, saying that it was a chance that had to be taken. "One should not race against someone."
Langeveld looked strong within the group, with Gaudin monstering his bike, Vandenbergh also working hard and at that point "Vanmarcke struggled with his wheel," the Orica GreenEdge rider explained with the Blanco man eventually finishing second to Cancellara. For the 28-year-old former Rabobank rider, isolated, it was about taking a chance.
"I threw all my cards on the table and in the end I was a bit dead but that's the race you know..."
The next move by Cancellara was "inevitable" said Langeveld, but riding into the Rouabaix velodrome in the second chase group left him satisfied.
"I'm pretty happy with the Classics season I did and to have another top-10... I'm happy with my ride."
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