Team SD Worx Hoping For Paradise Not Hell

Paris-Roubaix is still missing from Team SD Worx-Protime’s palmares. Each of the past three editions, the classic literally proved to be the Hell of the North for the Dutch Worldteam. This has now, however, affected Christine Majerus’s fondness for the infamous cobbled classic. The Luxembourg native hopes the race slogan “l’enfer mène au paradis” (hell leads to paradise) will come true for her team at the Roubaix Vélodrome in 2024 at this Saturday’s race. “In this classic, on the one hand you have to do everything right technically, but you also need a dose of luck. Hopefully as a team we can add Paris-Roubaix to our list of honours this year.”

Christine Majerus said, “The last three years we weren’t so lucky in Paris-Roubaix, but it’s not that I like the race any less because of that. I hope the puzzle pieces all fall together for once. Hopefully 2024 will be the year when we don’t make a single mistake and have the necessary dose of luck. The secret to riding fast over the cobblestones depends largely on the right technique. It starts before the cobblestones, you have to position yourself well before each strip. In addition, of course, you need good legs. The speed has to stay high and you have to ride as relaxed as possible, keeping the right cadence and looking far ahead. Let the bike do the work and stay calm. Anything you do out of stress or out of an emergency is guaranteed to lead to a crash.”

“Auchy-Bersé (sector 12) is my favourite strip. I keep good memories of it from the first edition. That is the place where I attacked and it still remains cool that in the first edition of this classic I got to the front thanks to my attack. This is the sector where you feel if it will be a good day or not. It’s quite a tricky strip and you’re already a little tired because it’s not the first one anymore. This is where it gets really important. From here you go to Mons-En-Pévèle and this is where the race often breaks loose. I normally have few regrets about things that have happened in my career, but I do regret the first edition of Paris-Roubaix. In this year I had the best chance, because the two editions after that I was sick in 2022 and in 2023 I had too many punctures to play a significant role. But in the first edition I was partly in control and was in the wrong wheel. I paid a high price for that, because before I knew it I was involved in a crash. I feel there was a lot more in that first edition.”

“I’m looking forward to Saturday. The form is good. The first part of the classics was super, so I hope I have those legs again. Lidl-Trek, as a team, will be our big challenger. They are heading to Paris-Roubaix with a lot of confidence. Marianne Vos will also be at the start as a top favourite. I hope that as a team we can pull the race our way and that we still go into the last three or four cobbled sections with a three or four riders, so we can play the game. The key will be to be sharp. Some of the cobbled sections will be slippery so we have to be careful, but also not be too preoccupied with it. Because if you ‘overthink’ it, you’ll hit your brakes too soon and then the chances of a crash are high. We started the season well with 14 wins. That we had two lesser races in Flanders is logical. Individually and as a team the performances are good. Hopefully in Paris-Roubaix we can add another nice win to the team’s list of honour.”

Team Line-up:

Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)

Lorena Wiebes (the Netherlands)

Barbara Guarischi (Italy)

Femke Markus (the Netherlands)

Christine Majerus (Luxembourg)

Elena Cecchini (Italy)

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