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“I have to wait what the exact influence of my injuries will be. During the recon I pulled a few times and that felt good. The condition seems to be still fine, but I would be a miracle if I am one hundred per cent in Roubaix."

Photo: Lotto Soudal
















07.04.2016 @ 22:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Lotto Soudal have announced their line-up for Paris-Roubaix.


Exactly one week after the Ronde Van Vlaanderen it’s time for another famous cycling monument. The 114th edition of Paris-Roubaix is scheduled next Sunday and takes the riders from Compiègne to Roubaix in 257.5 kilometres. The Hell of the North is a bit longer compared to last year but the amount of cobbled sections remained the same. 52.8 kilometres of cobbles divided over 27 sections will require the best of the riders. The weather forecast isn’t good, most likely it will be a rainy day with a strong wind.


Jürgen Roelandts said: “I have been waiting for a wet edition of Paris-Roubaix for nine years, so for me it may rain on Sunday. It would be better if it is wet all over the roads instead of only some wet spots. That would be more dangerous.


“The past two weeks I hap ups-and-downs what my health is concerned. It’s not quite as it should be yet. On Monday, the day after the Ronde, I had sinusitis. Yesterday I did a training ride and today was the recon. The last two days I feel that I’m getting better. I definitely won’t hide behind my health problems.


“Paris-Roubaix is the toughest Classic on the calendar. In that race there are a lot more opportunities to escape than in the Ronde for example. Just think of the edition of 2011, won by Vansummeren, when a group could ride away pretty early in the race and those riders battled for the victory.


“For Tiesj Benoot and Jelle Wallays it will depend on how they’ve recovered. Despite all the setbacks the team has had we still have a strong line-up. I expect André Greipel in the finale on Sunday, he was impressive in the Ronde. In the edition of 2011 he also showed himself on the cobbles (Greipel got 21st at 3’43” of winner Johan Vansummeren, ed,). The same year Lars Bak was fifth, so also he can get a result in Roubaix.”


The Lotto Soudal team did a recon of a part of the course today, also Tiesj Benoot participated. Benoot was involved in a hard crash during the Ronde Van Vlaanderen but will start next Sunday. Just as in the Ronde Tiesj Benoot will be one the two leaders in the Belgian team, next to Jürgen Roelandts.


“On Sunday I crashed because a water bottle fell out of someone’s bottle cage," he said. "At that moment I was riding on the first rows of the bunch. We were riding on cobbles and it was slightly downhill. It was a road I know well, but crashing was unavoidable. Initially I was most concerned about my shoulder, but it turned out my elbow was most badly injured. Yesterday I did a first long training, on Monday and Tuesday I did a shorter ride. I didn’t feel so good yesterday, probably because of the medication. Also my knee hurt; one of the bones is bruised. During today’s recon though I felt good on the cobbles and after a check-up by the doctor it was decided I will start the race. Something I hadn’t expected last Sunday.


“I have to wait what the exact influence of my injuries will be. During the recon I pulled a few times and that felt good. The condition seems to be still fine, but I would be a miracle if I am one hundred per cent in Roubaix. I don’t think I will be racing differently unless I am really bad. The first one hundred kilometre will tell a lot. I also have two more days to recover.”


Line-up Lotto Soudal:

Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Frederik Frison, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Jelle Wallays.



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