Sam Bewley was on hand to support his Orica GreenEDGE team and play his role in Matt Hayman’s Paris-Roubaix victory. Afterwards a delighted Bewley took time out to chat to RoadCycling about what was an unforgettable day in Hell of the North.
The global cycling community has rushed out in praise of what was a sublime race, with surprises, thrills and spills as one gets at Paris-Roubaix. And it was the underdog Matt Hayman who overcame four time winner Tom Boonen to claim his first win, after fourteen previous attempts. Afterwards Sam said, “It was pretty emotional on the bus. Was a good fun drive back to the hotel that’s for sure and few tears from a few people. Really incredible and happy to be involved in it.”
Sam arrived in Paris-Roubaix with great form, heading to his last race before enjoying a well earned break, but unfortunately for him, his race was ended not by crashes, but by mechanical failure. “I had really good legs but was unfortunately hit with a couple of flat tires before Arenberg and that was basically the race,” he said.
But for teammate Hayman the race had well and truly begun a long way before that, before the first section of cobbles even, as he took his place in the break of the day. While the break would be caught the Australian would continue on with the leaders, calling on all the reserves in the tank to match the talent and strength of riders like Ian Stannard, Sep Vanmarcke, Tom Boonen and Edvald Boasson Hagen; and eventually overcoming them.
Hard as it may be to believe, but Paris-Roubaix is just Hayman’s second ever career victory, and his first since 2011 when he won Paris-Bourges. At the age of 37 and now with 15 Paris-Roubaix outings in the bag – all of which he has finished by the way – could there be a more deserving winner? Sam doesn’t seem to think so. “Matty lives and breathes this race,” Sam told us. But the race for Hayman almost never even began. “He broke his arm 5 weeks ago and no one thought he would be back for this. But this race is so important to him that he worked his ass off to be here and today he was incredible.”
The disappointment of not finishing was more than made up for by the sight of his teammate in a state of shock at having won the Queen of the Classics. From here Sam will be able to take a bit of a breather before his attention shifts from classics to grand tour duty. “I’m back home to Girona now for a month. A short rest then an important few weeks building up for the Giro.”