Doull pleased with Roubaix progression

11 Apr 2018

Doull pleased with Roubaix progression

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When Owain Doull crossed the line in the Roubaix Velodrome at the end of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday afternoon he could reflect on a job well done.

The Welshman battled to 49th after playing a key team role across the vast majority of the race, only losing the front group for good once he’d given up a wheel to teammate Ian Stannard inside the final 80 kilometres.
A year earlier Doull had suffered an untimely crash midway through the race and never made it back to the front group, eventually finishing outside the time limit. This time round it was a different story, as he kept clawing his way back after three or four incidents he believes would have finished him off in 2017.
“Last year at Roubaix I was way outside the time limit, although I finished,” he explained. “I didn’t even have much bad luck. I crashed once and never made it back.
“This year, I had three or four incidents which, if I’d have had one of them last year, I would never have made it back. It’s having that strength to always come back to the race. It was the same in Strade Bianche as well. It feels like the polar opposite of last year.
Owain Doull

Owain Doull

This year, I had three or four incidents which, if I’d have had one of them last year, I would never have made it back.

“I had a puncture just before the first sector, so I hit that quite far back and was caught behind the crash that split the whole race up. I was chasing for a long time to get back, going through groups and groups and I made it back to the front when there was 60 or 70 guys maybe.
“Then I was caught behind a crash on the sector before Arenberg, and then through the Arenberg I got my head down, chasing and chasing, eventually got back to the front again when there was just 40 or 50 of us.”
At that point Ian Stannard suffered a puncture of his own so Doull offered up his wheel and waited for a new one, as the front group disappeared into the distance.
“I was pretty happy with how the day went,” continued the 24 year old. “It was far from ideal but the legs felt good and I think I learnt a lot.”

Doull will be looking to take those lessons into the next race on his calendar: the Tour de Yorkshire, where he is likely to be handed leadership responsibilities.
“I’ll take a break now, an easy week, and then start building up for Yorkshire. Hopefully I can go well there and try and get a result.
“It’s quite a focus for me now actually. It’s nice to have something to aim towards and keep my head on for the next four weeks. That should be good.
“I’ll go up to Yorkshire and do some recons of the toughest stages. I’ll throw myself into it and take the opportunity with both hands.”