Christophe Noppe: "A strong sprint in Binche-Chimay-Binche"
6th of the semi-classic Walloon, Christophe Noppe has shown a good recovery capacity two days after racing Paris-Roubaix.
“I saw that there were possible opportunities in the final, and as I didn’t feel too bad, I said to myself, I’m going to seize them: “and follow the movements of the race”, and when I had the opportunity, I went on the offensive. I tried, and that allowed me to show the Arkéa-Samsic jersey, and then in a race you never know, if for example it comes out behind, and two or three riders come back on me you can maybe either play for the win, or make a good place at the finish. You have to have fun on the bike. I am discovering racing in Belgium, with the U23 World Championships last week, and this event, and I like it even if I am a novice. I don’t mind racing in the rain either, and today it was fine despite the rain that fell on the road”.
On the line
“I wasn’t supposed to race the sprint initially, it was planned that Bram would do it. But he didn’t feel fit to do it because he hadn’t recovered enough from Paris-Roubaix and his sensations weren’t great. I was not at my best either, but it was ok. I would like to thank Bram for his honesty. He also helped me in the final, which shows the strength of our team. During the last lap Bram and Benjamin ideally protected me and placed me at the head of the race, at the same time Kévin Vauquelin, a trainee of the team, tried his luck alone during the last passage, which gave us several cards in our deck for the final. In the last three kilometres, a break occurred in the peloton and twenty riders broke away. The legs spoke at that moment because there was a cobbled hill to climb before the finish. It wasn’t a pure sprint, but it was more about strength.
“It didn’t start well with Matîs ill and not starting this morning, but the guys didn’t give up. The guys were offensive, and we can’t blame them, even if on this race it often ends in a sprint, which was once again the case. They rode a good race, took the opportunities that were presented to them, with a nice offensive spirit which proves that the whole group was working. Bram announced very quickly that he didn’t have the legs to do the sprint after Paris-Roubaix, and he immediately put himself at Christophe’s service. Benjamin did a great job. Christophe finished the race in 6th place and 3rd in the peloton. It is a result that is more than correct”.