The 2012 edition of Paris-Roubaix will always remain special from an emotional point of view for the team. It not only marks the end of the course of one of its historic members Frédéric Guesdon, but it also turns into a real heartbreak when Matthieu Ladagnous is eliminated from the fight for the podium due to a puncture.
Paris-Roubaix 2012 is the one marking the end of Frédéric Guesdon’s career. On the morning of the race, we wore t-shirts with his face on it and the following words: “Thank you Fred”. It was important to pay tribute to him because a chapter was really closing. The end of the day had been special. It was very moving. We all used tissue, it was a real highlight and a great moment of a team life.
However, a lot happened that day. Besides Fred’s retirement, we all fell disappointed for Matthieu Ladagnous, who was close to getting a spectacular podium. It’s true that it would have been great if Fred retired with a podium from Matthieu, it would have been symbolic, but I can’t rewrite history.
If Matthieu doesn’t puncture 200 meters before the exit of the last cobble sector, he is in the mix for the podium. But that’s life, that’s destiny. It was obviously a big blow at the time, but on the other hand, that’s cycling. In this kind of race, we know very well that anything can happen at any time. You need be extremely humble towards Paris-Roubaix.