'All the pressure was on him': Philippe Gilbert impressed by Kasper Asgreen’s form ahead of Paris-Roubaix

Danish rider finished seventh for Soudal Quick-Step after Patrick Lefevere called for riders to ‘save team’s honour’

Kasper Asgreen at the E3 Classic 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Belgian cycling legend Philippe Gilbert has praised Soudal Quick-Step’s Kasper Asgreen ahead of this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix, and believes he can continue to build on his form at the ‘Hell of the North’.

Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Gilbert- a former winner of both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix - explained that he was impressed by Asgreen’s Ronde van Vlaanderen performance, and believes it’s a good sign ahead of the final cobbled Monument of the Spring.

“Asgreen had a great race, of course,” Gilbert said. “After the huge crash happened because of the Bahrain rider, the race was finished for Lampaert and Alaphilippe. They were caught in the crash and suffered from it, and they never recovered.”

Coming into the Tour of Flanders, Soudal Quick-Step had struggled for form throughout the current Classics campaign.

In a press conference before ‘De Ronde’, Patrick Lefevere, the team’s general manager, called for the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen and their teammates to “save the team’s honour”.

After spending much of the day in the breakaway before ultimately finishing seventh, Asgreen put in a solid performance which would have eased some of the pain amongst the camp after the team failed to make much of an impact this Spring on what was once their playground.  

“I talked to him [Asgreen] after the finish,” Gilbert added. “After the crash, all the pressure was on him. It was great that he could still manage to get away with the group that he did, and get his chance to be in the position to win.”

“I know that when you get deep in the final of either race, your legs are speaking more than anything else.”  

Kasper Asgreen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.