Briton John Dibben finished fourth in the junior version of Paris-Roubaix today, finishing in the outdoor velodrome a few hours before the pro race.
Dibben, who only returned to heavy training in late January, positioned himself well throughout the race and as riders continously crashed, punctured, or got dropped on the cobbles he found himself at the front riding for the win.
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He eventually contested the sprint for second, but leading out with half a lap of the track to go he got rolled in the sprint by two riders in his group.
French rider Florian Senechal won the race after riding away on the penultimate section of cobbles, and although Dibben looked strong leading the chase, he couldn’t shake off the other riders in his group.
“I was chasing him and I wanted to just pick my line,” Dibben said of his effort on the Willems a Hem sector. “I hit the start of it in about third wheel and there was no where good to ride. The middle was rough, and the edges were tarmac and potholes, so I thought I’d just get on the front and ride hard.”
“At that stage it was just picking my line, I didn’t want to puncture. It wasn’t too much of an effort, I just didn’t want to crash. I was going near flat out, but that wasn’t really the aim.”
The 120km junior race started in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux and joined the route of the pro race just after the Forest of Arenberg. Geraint Thomas won the event in 2004 and Andrew Fenn won in 2009. Owain Doull had started the race as leader for the British team but he crashed in the feed zone.
Harry Tanfield, Chris Latham, Sam Lowe and Josh Papworth also rode the Nations Cup event.
John Dibben takes a breather in the centre of Roubaix velodrome after finishing fourth
ODP coach Darren Tudor talks to Owain Doull (left) after the race
Junior Paris-Roubaix, 118.6km
1. Florian Sénéchal (France) in 3-04-57
2. Alexis Gougeard (France) at 1-05
3. Maarden Van Tryp (Netherlands)
4. Jonathan Dibben (Great Britain)
5. Ruben Zepunkte (Germany) at 1-07
6. Mike De Bie (Belgium) at 1-25
7. Ruben Boons (Belgium) at 2-52
8. Amaury Capiot (Belgium) at 3-20
9. Pierre Henry Lecuisinier (France)
10. Joachim Vanreyten (Belgium)
18. Owain Doull (Great Britain) at 3-32