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Madis Mihkels achieves a top 10 in a Monument at the age of 20

This Sunday 7th of April, Intermarché-Wanty managed to finish in the top 10 of Paris-Roubaix for the third year in a row. Madis Mihkels, the young 20 year old Estonian, finished tenth despite all the bad luck the Walloon World Team encountered during the third Monument of the season.

Indeed, leader Laurenz Rex, who was ninth in the Hell of the North last year, was involved in a massive crash that occurred even before the first cobbled sectors. Although he had wounds all over his body, the German speaking rider continued the battle by joining his teammates in the front of the peloton.

Behind the breakaway, the peloton split at the exit of sector 27 from Quiévy to Saint-Python, and around twenty riders made it to the first group. Laurenz Rex, Madis Mihkels and Hugo Page were the three riders representing Intermarché-Wanty.

Unfortunately, a second crash on a traffic island ruined Rex’s chances, who was forced to abandon with 140 kilometer to go. The elimination race continued in the leading group over the cobble sections, with the young duo Mihkels and Page still accompanying the best at the exit of Trouée d’Arenberg.

Despite two punctures, Mihkels managed to follow the third group, racing for eight place. When he arrived at the velodrome after five and a half hours of racing, Mihkels sprinted to tenth place, offering Intermarché-Wanty the first top ten of the season in a Monument.

“Paris-Roubaix became my favourite race when I discovered this monument one year ago, so I was really looking forward to this race. I felt really sorry for our leader Laurenz Rex, who crashed twice in the beginning, but I’m glad he did not sustain any major injuries. My experience of last year was helpful, although we raced differently this time. I remember that I started Trouée d’Arenberg in a select group of strong riders in the previous edition, until a puncture on that sector made me loose a lot of time. This time I entered the same sector as part of a bigger group and punctured again in the final 100 meter. Luckily our staff alongside the road could quickly help me, so I managed to return to the first group. It cost me quite some energy, so I struggled in the next couple of sections. There was more bad luck when I punctured again with 35 kilometer to go and I had cramps in the final 10 kilometer. But I never gave up, also not when I was dropped again on the final cobble section. I gave everything I had in the sprint. This top ten makes me really happy and proud.”

General Classification


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