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102nd Paris-Roubaix Reactions
By Staff
Date: 4/11/2004
102nd Paris-Roubaix Reactions

Paris Roubaix Reactions

Johan Museeuw (fifth place), in an emotional last Paris-Roubaix, was robbed of a chance of a fourth victory by a cruel, late puncture. "I dare to say this" said Museeuw, "I thought my fourth victory was in the making. I raced at the front, and thought 'I win today'. 2 seconds later, I hear 'sssss' [the deflation of his tyre]. It is nonetheless natural that I am emotional, the way I took farewell was large. I participated at the highest level for my own gain, but I had bad luck."

Sixth place Peter van Petegem's late puncture very likely cost him a victory today. He said that at that point, "My legs felt possibly still better than in 2003. After that I still came after Museeuw, but he told me that he had problems with his acceleration. He was gone. On the sprint Museeuw asked me to take his hand. I did it, but I would have rather tried to win the sprint. If Johan and I had not punctured, it would have been us for the victory."

British champion Roger Hammond, third place. "Bäckstedt was simply too strong, I saw that the last 15 kilometres. That sprint, wow. I messed up in the sprint and I paid for it (letting Backstedt pass him). On the other hand am I very glad that I am third in my dream race. I had never thought that I would line up in the last 100 meters of my dream race for the victory. Magnus has a most deserved won, he showed that on Wednesday at Gent-Wevelgem (where he was second)."

Tristan Hoffmann (second place): "This is one of the races which I can certainly win. I got a serious chance here today but, perhaps I will succeed later. I really wanted to win today, but I'm happy I at least came on the podium. When I have some time to think about the experience, I'll probably be happy with second spot."

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