Adam Blythe is hoping team Omega Pharma Lotto will select him for one of cycling’s toughest races, Paris-Roubaix this Sunday.
He supported captain Philippe Gilbert in the Tour of Flanders and rode Scheldeprijs today, but dreams of returning to France’s hellish cobbled roads on Sunday.
“It’s a dream. I did it last year and I’d like to do it again this year,” 21-year-old Blythe said. “As I said from the start of the season, it’s harder to get selection this year with the team. I hope to get a spot.”
Gilbert asked for Blythe to race Flanders after the two had trained together in the week leading up to the race. Blythe protected Gilbert from the Oude-Kwaremont to the Steenbeekdries climb, but fell behind after he gave up his wheel when Gilbert punctured.
The performance, and Gilbert’s endorsement, should earn Blythe a spot on Omega’s eight-man Roubaix team. I’d be a chance for Blythe to return after his sixth place as a junior and professional debut last year. If he races, he’ll support team leaders André Greipel and Jürgen Roelandts.
“My memories? There’s been a lot. Johan Museeuw’s wins, the way he did it, and Andrei Tchmil’s in 1994. That was a good race to watch,” Blythe continued. “For me, last year was more of a learning process than anything else.”
Following the classics last year, Blythe made his debut in a Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia and ended his season on a high note. He won two stages and the overall of the Circuit Franco-Belge, and the Nationale Sluitingprijs one-day race.
“It was just disappointing my winning streak came at the end of the year when there were no other races.”