Sebastien Turgot (Team Europcar) became the first Frenchman to finish on the Paris-Roubaix podium since 1997 and showed of the qualities of his Colnago Prestige bike on the pave with a determined second place in Paris-Roubaix.
Turgot tried a lone attack before eventual winner Tom Boonen took off and the Frenchman still had the legs to fight his way back into contention in the Roubaix velodrome. He timed his sprint to perfection, coming over the top of his rivals to beat Alessandro Ballan by a just a couple of millimetres in the sprint.
It was a great day for Team Europcar, with David Veilleux also in the long breakaway that shaped much of the race and survived the terrible Forest of Arenberg sector. When the race came back together, Turgot was there and rode an intelligent race, letting his special Colnago Prestige bike dominate the cobbles of northern France.
The Colnago Prestige frame is similar to those used by cyclo-cross stars Sven Nys and current world champion Niels Albert. It has excellent wheel clearance and cantilever brakes but is lighter thanks to a special refined carbon fibre design. The legendary Colnago C40 dominated the pave in the past; now the Colnago Prestige has proved again that it is perfect for the pave.
“I never thought I’d pull of a result like that but my legs felt good,” Turgot said after proudly climbing onto the podium with Boonen and Ballan.
“I tried with 60km to go, to see how I was, and realised I could do something. After that I rode intelligently and made sure I was in the right position on the pave sectors. When we were two or three kilometres from the finish and close to catching the trio, I told myself to give it everything and then try in the sprint. My rim was touching the brakes but I told myself not to think about it and go all out to the line. It’s great to finish on the podium behind Tom Boonen. It pays me and the Europcar team back for all the sacrifices and hard work we’ve done.”
Team Europcar manager Jean-Rene Bernadeau described Turgot’s performance as historic.
“This is a huge result for Sebastien and the team. He’s got a real love for the classics and this result pays him and the team back for all the work we’ve done. There are no secrets to our success.”