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Demol questions Discovery tactics

Dirk Demol

Dirk Demol (Image credit: Jeff Jones, Bikeradar.com)

Discovery Channel had a largely unsuccessful Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, causing directeur sportif Dirk Demol to question why none of the designated team leaders made the early breakaway of 34 riders containing eventual winner Stuart O'Grady from arch rival Team CSC.

"[Stijn Devolder] began his race 180 kilometres too late," said Demol to Sporza. "During the pre-race meeting we clearly said that one of the three leaders (Devolder, Vladimir Gusev and Tomas Vaitkus) would go with an early move. All three missed the train. I find that difficult to accept."

Discovery rider Volodymyr Bileka was part of the 34-man selection but faded away to finish 36th, with Gusev and Devolder eventually winding up 17th and 18th respectively. "When you get such chances, you must grab them," continued Demol. "When the back numbers of the breakaway riders were announced, I knew immediately that it was too late - the winner had gone."

Devolder explained to the Gazet van Antwerpen that: "The favourites waited too long before pursuing the lead group. I tried to initiate a break myself but got no help."

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