For Lampre-Merida, the pavé of Paris-Roubaix brought only pain and suffering compounded by bad luck. While Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was busy at the head of the racing soloing away for his first Monument win, the Italian team could only watch on, unable to overcome several handicaps.
While all the teams face the same parcours and the almost unavoidable crashes, punctures, mechanical problems that the Queen of the Classics serves up, Lampre will be hoping that future participations at the race bring more luck than Sunday did. The team only had two finishers in Pippo Pozzato and Andrea Palini.
Pozzato was the best finisher for the team in 50th place, 6:44 down on Terpstra, rendering him unable for force a selection on the cobbles at any point, while Palini was a further three-and-a-bit minutes back in 80th.
"When you have to face two punctures and another rider hits your derailleur, it's very difficult to still be competitive, despite any efforts or quite good form," Pozzato said. "I was happy because I could exit from the [Arenberg] forest in the head positions, but then I had two punctures."
"At 40km to go, when Cancellara attacked, the problem with my derailleur, accidentally hit by an opponent, stopped all my aims. It's a pity, my legs were good".
For the rest of the Lampre team, there was an abundance of bad luck as well with Davide Cimolai abandoning after a puncture with 80km to go on the cobblestone sector from Hornaing to Wandignies.
"I was doubly unlucky, because I had the puncture in the same moment of Pozzato: in those events, it's almost impossible to come back to the main group," explained Cimolai on his ill-timed puncture.
"This accident ended a race that was quite good for me, considering that I was in the head positions after Arenberg".
One of the 18 punctures that the Arenberg Forest dished up was to Sacha Modolo whose deflated tyre also brought him crashing down on the cobbles.
"I had a puncture and my wheel slid on a stone, so I crashed. I hit my chest on the ground, I felt pain and I could not come back on the bike," a sore Modolo said who was one of six Lampre riders to record a DNF.
"I'm quite angry because I was feeling comfortable on the cobblestones, I had no problem in driving my bike and I think I would have been competitive in my debut in Paris-Roubaix".
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