Imanol Erviti became the first Spanish rider to claim consecutive top ten classifications in Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in the same season. After coming home 7th in De Ronde the Movistar rider claimed a hard fought 9th place on the cobbles leading to Roubaix.
Erviti was part of the first escapee group that managed to stick together after a nervous start to the race. The group crossed the mythical Trouée d’Arenberg with 1’30” over the main field and then split into two due to a mass crash. The escapees were chased down one by one 60 KM from the finish and few managed to remain in the Etixx-lead peloton. Erviti was one of those few along with race winner Matthew Hayman.
With less than 20km to go, an acceleration by Sky split the front bunch, leaving Erviti with Saramotins, Haussler (IAM) and Sieberg (LTS) in pursuit of Boonen, Hayman, Stannard (SKY), Vanmarcke (TLJ) and Boasson Hagen (DDD).
In the end Erviti finished 9th on the velodrome in Roubaix just over a minute behind the winner. As a result, the Spaniard is also the only rider along with Sep Vanmarcke to finish in the top 10 in both Roubaix and Flanders this spring. The result is no small feat for the hard-working Movistar man:
Imanol Erviti: “What a week! I’m super happy. Right after crossing the finish line, the taste was sort of bittersweet since I couldn’t follow the wheels of the group I was in and couldn’t improve that 9th – I was so much tired. But later on, you reflect on what you did and you leave the Velodrome with a big smile. It’s always difficult to get into the break on
a Monument, like I did in Flanders, but entering two of them… it’s sort of a master trick. And I couldn’t have done without a big helping hand from my team-mates. They kept the break clear so I could try and bridge, which I did.
Erviti`s performance is even more impressive because he worked hard in the break as well:
“I took my turns into the breaks because I wanted to be honest with my group, and I was also interested on that move to stick and go smoothly, rather than running by one attack after another. Following wheels instead of cooperating would have made me suffer more than reach shorter than I could. I wasn’t probably the man who pushed the strongest, but I didn’t want to break the ‘rules’. You’ve got to ride with everything you’ve got. Plus, I was so excited, because things had gone well in Flanders – I thought it was worth to take the effort. I was over my limite at the finish, I couldn’t seek for a better place in the Velodrome, but I’m content with what I did because I think I acted correctly. This is how
“I was keeping the wheel of my group into the section prior to the Carrefour de l’Arbre, but to be honest, I was starting to struggle – the ones in front of me were a bit stronger. I’m happy that Hayman won: Orica rode well, with two men into the early break, Mat into the escape so early… he’s a deserved winner of this race.”
The spring cobblestone classics have certainly been successful for Erviti and Movistar has everything to fight for in the Ardennes starting this Sunday.
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