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Teniel Campbell: I can see myself winning Paris-Roubaix Femmes

GALMAARDEN BELGIUM JUNE 24 Teniel Campbell of Trinidad Tobago and Team Bikeexchange warming up on rollers at start during the 9th Lotto Belgium Tour 2021 Stage 2 a 1375km stage from Galmaarden to Galmaarden LottoBelgTour LottoBelgiumTour on June 24 2021 in Galmaarden Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Teniel Campbell (Team BikeExchange) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Teniel Campbell saw her Paris-Roubaix Femmes end due to a string of crashes and bad luck, but the 24-year-old firmly believes that she can legitimately target winning the race in the future. Campbell finished outside the time limit in the inaugural edition of the women’s Paris-Roubaix but still made it the Roubaix velodrome.

“It was pretty disappointing in the end because all the bad luck was around me but I’m already really excited about it for next year,” Campbell told Cyclingnews during the Women’s Tour.

“It’s definitely a race that I can see myself winning because I know that I have the power for it, and also the skills. But I loved it out there and hope that next year the conditions are similar

This year’s Paris-Roubaix was beset with rain and mud, and while it made for epic viewing, there were no shortages of crashes and bad luck for the riders within the peloton. Campbell, however, said that she thrives on the poor conditions and even prefers racing in the rain rather than the heat.

“I love the cold and rain, that’s the thing,” she said. “That’s not so Caribbean of me but I love it. When it’s like this I love to race. I hate the sun. I’m not the typical Caribbean but I don’t like the sun so much.”

In this year’s Women’s Tour Campbell has been racing as a solid domestique for her BikeExchange squad as they look to set up the likes of Sarah Roy for the sprints. Campbell was in the thick of the action on stage 2 when she helped form an early break and then close down a series of attacks before the winning move was formed.

After such a long season, plenty of riders in the women’s WorldTour are looking forward to putting their feet up at the end of the season but Campbell still has a few days of racing before she can put away her race bike for the winter.

“The legs aren’t too bad. I was actually in a breakaway for a bit and I almost crashed when I was trying to take off my jacket. Then we got caught and the bunch split. We didn’t have a GC rider in the so I had to try and shut it down. I didn’t have the legs in the end to help Sarah Roy.”

During the off-season, Campbell will have the chance to take stock and look back at her successful debut campaign in the WorldTour having served on Valcar in 2020 after graduating from the UCI WCC Team the year before.

She enjoyed a non-stop Classics campaign from February right through until mid-April before mixing one-day events and stage races right through until late September.

Campbell was third in the Pan American Championships road race in August but capped her year with a memorable stage win on stage 6 of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International. As she explained, so much of 2021 had been new to her and the campaign was mostly spent learning and developing.

“For sure, because this is also my first European season as well,” Campbell said. “I never did three-quarters of the races this year. So it’s been a lot of learning for me and a lot of knowledge to take into next year. Now I know what to take into next year and I know how to keep improving.”

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 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.