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"It’s going to be one of the best teams I’ve started with at Paris-Roubaix. Hopefully we will have a little bit more to say in the real final this time.  In the end you win or lose a Classic. You don’t get 2nd or...

Photo: Sirotti


















11.04.2014 @ 19:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have announced a formidable roster for this year's Paris-Roubaix that was presented at a press conference earlier today. The team will be led by Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra, and Zdenek Stybar who took the time to look ahead ot Sunday's race.


Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Tom Boonen, Zdenek Stybar. and Niki Terpstra met with the media for a Paris-Roubaix Press Conference after their parcours reconnaissance on Friday. You can read some of their comments below.


Tom Boonen

About the Paris-Roubaix reconnaissance on Friday.

It was a good recon, like every year. It’s not so much the case that the parcours has changed now. It changed a little bit from last year, but cobblestones are cobblestones. It’s about last sensations with the bikes, wheels, everything. It’s better to do it today and go riding for three hours on the cobblestones than be surprised on Sunday. It’s better to do it today. 

About his Specialized Roubaix bike

Everything is the same with the bike almost as it was in 2012. You get better in it every year, more experienced. When I look back at my first Paris-Roubaix as a pro, we only changed the tubes, they were 25. It was a normal road bike. The same we raced the entire season. When I look now, to these bikes, the evolution is enormous. I’ve been happy I have had something to say in it. I think I’ve always been riding a good bike for Roubaix. You get so much experience you can carry that knowledge on to when you ride your new bike.  The Roubaix bikes we have right now, from Specialized, they’re really close to perfect. 

About Paris-Roubaix and the legendary cobbled sections

In a cobblestone race there’s not much you can change. The sections don’t change often.  They have to use the one they have. They’re tough enough to have a decent bike race on. I like it, it’s one of the last really authentic races in the world. You can really compare the palmares of 30 and 40 years ago to today. All the other ones have changed. It’s one of the last pieces of old cycling. 

About the conditions of the race

It is super dry. It’s really eating dust all day long. Especially today with the motorcycles and the car. You ride 200 kilometers behind them maximum, so you get all of the dust. We’ll be coughing up dust the rest of the night. But it’s best that it doesn’t rain. Because if it does it will be like oil. The cobblestones have so much dust on them. Now the dust makes the race faster. It covers up the really big level differences between the cobblestones. It makes the race faster. We have to see what the wind does now. We’ll see from there how it will be in the race.

About the chances of OPQS on Sunday

It’s going to be one of the best teams I’ve started with at Paris-Roubaix. Hopefully we will have a little bit more to say in the real final this time.  In the end you win or lose a Classic. You don’t get 2nd or 3rd place. I hope Sunday we will win. I hope I can maybe get my fifth win, but there are another few guys who really deserve it on this team. So, if someone else gets it on OPQS I will be equally happy. 

Zdenek Stybar

About the OPQS Paris-Roubaix reconnaissance 

We did 85 kilometers.  Of course the parcours for the moment, the cobbles, are very dry. It’s a lot of dust. But in the end I have a pretty good feeling. We will see on Sunday. Two days before the race sometimes I need good training. Today it was not too long but at times it was pretty intensive. On the cobbles we went pretty fast. I wouldn’t say all out, but fast. I think it’s good for the legs and the body two days before the race to get a wake up, There are only so many important points. I will check up another time all of the parcours in the map, pictures, and all the information we have to think about the race and go to bed with a good feeling.

About the OPQS materials for the parcours

On the cobbles it’s pretty strange. It’s a lot harder than on the asphalt.  But I think we have the best material we could wish for.  We have the best tires, frames, wheels, everything thanks to Specialized, Zipp, SRAM, Quarq, all of our equipment partners. So I don’t think we can complain. I think last week we showed we had the best ream, but we have to just show we are still the best team, but we can also win the race.

About his experience at Paris-Roubaix

I only raced Paris-Roubaix once, so I’m not really experienced. But we have very experienced guys in the team and I can learn from them, follow them, and ask them questions. Whatever I need. So that’s also really important for me.

Niki Terpstra

About his condition

The legs were good, there was a good recovery from Tour of Flanders. Everyone was going fast, so I think that’s important.  All the riders who start here are in good shape. So, that’s a big plus for the upcoming race. Hopefully we have a lot of riders in the final in the end. That would be perfect.

About his performance last year and what he thinks about 2014

Last year I was on the podium. For sure we want to have someone be on the podium again. Hopefully it will be on the highest spot.

About the velodrome

It’s a difficult sprint. I’m used to trying from a 200 meter track and think this one is 400 or 450 meters, that’s twice as long. For the road riders it’s easier, but there’s not a lot of tactics in this sprint. The one who is most fresh in the end will win the sprint.

About the conditions

The corners on the cobblestones are really dry. We really have to pay attention. Don’t go fast in, because your wheels could slip.



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