Marie Le Net on Paris-Roubaix Performance with a Tinge of Regret

Marie Le Net

In an insightful conversation with Le Telegramme, French cyclist Marie Le Net shared her thoughts following a commendable ninth-place finish at this year’s Paris-Roubaix. The result, marking her first top 10 of the season, has offered her a significant boost, especially after grappling with a challenging injury. However, Le Net couldn’t help but express a slight sense of regret over her hesitance during the race.

Le Net, feeling somewhat astonished to find herself amidst the frontrunners, admitted, “I was a bit surprised to be up there! Given my form earlier this year, it was unexpected.” Yet, it was this very astonishment that perhaps held her back. “There’s a bit of regret because I didn’t dare to try and keep up with the best. I was just behind the rider who made the gap but didn’t dare to overtake, thinking it was too tough for me. In hindsight, I think to myself, ‘Marie, that was silly, you should at least have tried!'” This moment underscored a lingering self-confidence issue she acknowledges needing to address.

As the decisive move unfolded, with major contenders like Lotte Kopecky and Elisa Balsamo accelerating, Le Net found herself well-positioned but again held back by doubt. “I was well-placed but didn’t choose the right wheel. I hesitated, and in retrospect, I realise I should have just gone for it,” she reflected. This top-10 finish serves as a stepping stone, reminding her that she’s capable of competing with the sport’s leading figures. “It’s satisfying to know I was in the mix with these riders.”

When asked to compare this achievement with her career highlights, Le Net was pragmatic, appreciating the milestone but aspiring for even greater success. “It’s brilliant to finish in the top 10, but until it’s a podium… We race so much for that medal, for the podium,” she stated.

Discussing her recovery from a herniated disc, Le Net revealed that she’s now symptom-free and didn’t face any discomfort on the cobblestones, thanks to top-notch equipment. Yet, the early season was marred by this injury, affecting her preparation and morale. “It was tough not being at my level, but my circle and coach were incredibly supportive, assuring me form would return. And indeed, it has,” she shared, filled with gratitude for their encouragement.

Looking ahead to the Olympics, Le Net’s focus is primarily on track events, though she’s open to seizing any opportunity to compete on the road. The balance between track and road disciplines offers her a respite from the pressure of the impending Olympic Games, allowing her to concentrate on immediate goals while keeping the bigger picture in mind.