Did you see a red light at the train passing?
I didn't see anything like that. I was totally concentrated on my performance. What was going on behind me didn't worry me. I told myself that the race started for me at the Arenberg Trench. I imagined myself already together with the lead group. I was always there, moving at a good rate. I worked a lot and had the time to see a bunch of riders with their mouths wide open. For my part, I accomplished a lot without actually counting. I put on a show with or without the train, that's it! Everything that happened behind did not change a thing.
Liquigas upstage Savoldelli's Astana
Did you think that Tom Boonen could be beaten?
Boonen is like me and like a lot of the other riders. From the start, I set myself up to win. I had already discussed things with my team before the race and we agreed on the fact we did not have to focus particularly on Boonen. The important thing was to show my team-mates that I was always in position to respond to any attacks. That was that critical point when you realise how hard they worked so hard with the managers for me. It was the first time that I've ever felt such a feeling.
What made the difference?
Other than the fact that I was the strongest, I can say that my legs were like they've never been before. But, my strength was in my head.
We saw you smiling at the finish line....
Yes and no, I was asking lots of questions over the radio. How many seconds of a lead do I have? The problem is there was a lot of wind in my face. It was like I was doing a time-trial. I was never absolutely comfortable with the lead even if five kilometres from the finish I felt like I would enter the velodrome all alone.
What were you thinking when you got into the velodrome?
The main thing was not to fall, but when I saw my sporting director, Scott Sunderland, I said to myself I could finally savour the moment and slow down to take in the atmosphere of the velodrome. That's when the emotions arrived. I only slowed down the pace in the final 300 metres. I realised that it would be the second Swiss victory since Henri Sutter won in 1923. I also asked myself what I would do next.
So, what goad did you set for yourself?
Last year I said that I would come back to Roubaix to win it. This time, I'm thinking about the Tour of Flanders. I believe I have demonstrated that I'm capable of taking it. But my head needs some time to relax, more specifically some holidays and some parties.
RESULTS: Paris-Roubaix 2006
Nibali takes second win in as many days
Saunier dominate Asturias