17-year-old Tom Pidcock of Great Britain confirmed his huge talents and potential yet again, winning the junior edition of Paris-Roubaix just two and half months after winning the junior world cyclo-cross title.
Pidcock took off alone on the key Carrefour de l'Arbre sector of pave, 15 kilometres from the finish of the 111km race. He was able to celebrate with the crowds in the Roubaix velodrome. Daan Hoole (Netherlands) beat Mathias Larsen (Denmark) to take second place. They were just four seconds down on Pidcock at the line but he had eased up to high-five the crowd before the finish.
"This was a big goal but after the World [cyclo-cross] Championships my motivation went a bit and I wasn't training hard. So to win it, as well as the world championships and all my other goals, it's ... ridiculous," Pidcock said before lifting the cobbled trophy above his head on the podium.
"I went across to the break with about 25km to go. I recovered and then went again on the Carrefour de l'Arbre. I was expecting to drag everyone along but then I looked and I had a gap and thought, 'That's it, isn't it, I've got to go.'"
"I was crawling on the last sector, I was trying to get on every smooth part I could. There was dust everywhere and I kept breathing in and so it made your mouth dry."
Pidcock has won the junior cyclo-cross world title, the European title and several important cyclo-cross and road races. Several major professional teams have shown interest in signing him, including Trek-Segafredo and Quick-Step Floors. However, at least for now, he is keen to focus on his cyclo-cross career.
"This is a special race. Winning the junior race shows you might be pretty good in your future career. But the season isn't finished yet, there's still a lot of races to go, including the world championships."
"This won't really change my career. I'm going to do 'cross and road for the next few years."