At just 22 Gianni Moscon impressed with a strong and attacking performance across the 257-kilometre Queen of the Classics, coming within metres of victory as the lead group came back together inside the iconic velodrome.
After overhauling a 30-second gap in the final kilometres alongside Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Moscon hit the front momentarily and opened up the five-man sprint on the final lap of the track. Yet following a huge effort just to get to that point he was overhauled, with Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) crowning a dream Classics campaign with victory.
“I hoped to still do something but Paris-Roubaix is such a hard race. I don’t know what to say”, said Moscon.
“It was hard, I tried to anticipate the moves it because I was tired, the red light was on. I thought they’d come fast from behind, so I decided to do something to surprise them. I just ended up leading out the sprint but I tried. After chasing for so long I wasn’t one of the strongest and so I don’t think the result would have changed.”
Team Sky Sport Director and 2001 Roubaix victor Servais Knaven was full of praise for Moscon. He said: “I’m really happy about Gianni’s race today. The tactics were good and he followed what we told him. He finished up at the end sprinting for victory.
“For sure the best is yet to come. He’s 22 with a really bright future ahead of him. Every year he gets older and more experience. If you can finish like this then you can finish higher up as well.
“It was really fast all day and when you get a problem it is hard to come back. You expend a lot of energy and that’s what makes the race so hard. Ian and Luke managed to come back, then there was a crash and they were on the back foot again.”