While it may be hard for some to look beyond a Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) win in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix one rider with aspirations of adding his name the illustrious roll of honour at the race is Sep Vanmarcke (Team Belkin).
A classics specialist already, he has racked up podium places in Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, finishing behind Cancellara on both occasions. After being nipped at the line in last year’s Hell of the North, he returns once more to do battle with Cancellara, the unforgiving pavé, and of course the rest of the racing field.
Often quiet and unassuming, Vanmarcke modesty hides a raw hunger for success. His career trajectory has seen the Belgian break onto the scene with a win in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before a switch to Belkin at the start of 2013. Despite crashes in last year's spring campaign, Vanmarcke put in one of the most impressive rides during the cobbled season, with second place in the Roubaix velodrome.
And while his win tally remains relatively low, he still lines up one of Cancellara’s main rivals for Sunday.
It’s his dream to win Paris-Roubaix, and in this video with inCycle the Belkin leader talks about his chances of success and why Paris-Roubaix holds such a special place in his heart. The short interview gives a fine insight into the highs and lows of professional bike racing, the demands riders put on themselves and why they put everything on the line for that chance to taste victory.
Vanmarcke also talks about his ambition to ride this year's Tour de France. This year's race see the race head into Belgium for a stint on the cobbles of Roubaix.
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