This is what it means (even to the pros) to finish Paris-Roubaix

Posted on: April 9th, 2018

He was so far behind that when he reached the velodrome in Roubaix it had closed. But that didn’t stop him after an epic day out the back on his own; Evaldas Siskevicius we salute you.

 

Paris-Roubaix rider finds Roubaix velodrome closed at finish

 

Following the death of Michael Goolaerts at Paris-Roubaix the analysis of the race and Peter Sagan’s victory was muted across the cycling media.

However, one story still worth being told is that of Lithuania rider Evaldas Siskevicius.

The 29-year-old rides for French ProContinental team Delko Marseille Provence KTM.

He slipped so far behind during the race that even the broom wagon passed him. The race organisation was packing up along the route as he passed.

But he still insisted on riding to the Roubaix velodrome to finish. When he arrived the gates were closed, but a staff member opened them so Siskevicius could finish.

And when he got onto the track he did his 1½ laps to complete the race; an hour after Sagan had won.

 

 

Siskevicius was so far behind that he wasn’t even credited with an hors délai result; a recognition that the rider finished but outside the time limit. Instead a DNF sits beside his name.

He said after the race he had long been dropped from the last group on the road when he reached the Carrefour de l’Arbre pavé section.

It’s 2.1km in length and is the fourth last stretch of cobbles before the finish. He punctured and needed a spare.

As luck would have it, his team car had broken down on that stretch and had been put onto the back of a tow truck.

Siskevicius climbed up onto the truck, took the wheel he needed for his bike and went on his way to the velodrome.

“I was lucky: the car of my team was on the tow truck. I could change the wheel,” he said, adding he had been ill for weeks this season.

“I was sick in Paris-Nice. Since then, I had angina and bronchitis. I knew I may not be right for Roubaix. But I really wanted to finish.”

He was 2nd on the third stage of Critérium du Dauphiné last year, beaten to victory from the breakaway by Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Last year and in 2013 he rode Paris-Roubaix but was a non-finisher both times. He placed 80th two years ago.

Those three outings in the Hell of the North are his only monument appearances to date in his career.

Siskevicius was 20th and 26th in the U23 version of the race before turning pro.

He has won nine elite UCI-ranked races in his career . They include the final yellow jerseys in Circuit des Ardennes, Volta ao Alentejo and Tour of Yancheng Coastal Wetlands.

Meanwhile, Ryan Mullen was the only Irish rider in Paris-Roubaix 2018. However, after a very strong classics campaign the Trek-Segafredo man was a non-finisher yesterday.

 

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