After his ferocious attack in the finale of Gent-Wevelgem, Bert Roesems has big expectations this Sunday, and is confident that he will be one of a select group of riders battling it out in the finale of 'the Hell of the North'.
"I wouldn't say that I am a new team leader," said Roesems to Flemish web-TV after the finish of Gent-Wevelgem. "To show ourselves in the race and battle for the win is the only thing we can do to answer the load of criticism we have had poured over us in the press the last few weeks. This way we can show that it's not justified to be criticised like this. I don't expect anything less for the team than victory in Paris-Roubaix."
About yesterday's attack with 12 kilometres to go that only saw him caught just before the kilometre kite, Roesems simply said to HNB: "I gambled and lost.
"A win in Wevelgem could have turned the tide. But Paris-Roubaix is the classic which suits me the best. I'm getting a special bike; I really look forward to that. I'm finding confidence in this latest performance and the one I made in the Hell last year. There I stayed with Peter [Van Petegem] for five minutes when he punctured and I was still entering the velodrome in the group which was riding for twentieth place."
Explaining the various moves and the strategy adopted by Davitamon-Lotto, team manager Marc Sergeant began by saying: "After the late forfeit of Robbie McEwen we started Gent-Wevelgem with a group of 'freebooters.'"
"My players were full of goodwill and tried several times to open up the race. [Wim] Vansevenant looked at succeeding but he didn't get the ideal companions on his side in the attack. When the race exploded after the second climb of the Kemmel, we missed the presence of Tom Steels in the front; the conclusion is quickly made then.
"We were good, but fell through on the Kemmel. The performance of Bert Roesems was grand: on his own he sliced the whole Milram train into pieces. But this race leaves me with a good feeling. In Paris-Roubaix we can score; there's no 'bergskes' [hills] there."
Davitamon-Lotto's PR officer Filip Demyttenaere also took his chance to respond to the criticism the team has received of late: "We are very happy to have participated in Gent-Wevelgem. The team received heaps of criticism in the press lately; We didn't win [Gent-Wevelgem] but made beautiful publicity and that's why we do it. Bert is really the man in form at the moment. I'm happy about that, as he might be the one behind the scenes on Sunday; everyone will be watching Van Petegem but Bert might be the one who can lead the force for Davitamon."
Courtesy Sabine Sunderland
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