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"Last year already I knew from myself that I most likely would not win as I never felt super comfortable on the bike on these cobbles. I was 10th. That’s not bad, but still far away from a win."

Photo: Sirotti




07.04.2016 @ 23:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One day after racing Scheldeprijs, seven Team KATUSHA riders tested their Paris-Roubaix tubulars on the cobbles of the Hell of the North. Alexander Kristoff, Jacopo Guarnieri, Viatcheslav Kuznetsov, Michael Mørkøv, Marco Haller, Aleksandr Porsev and Nils Politt started in Denain to finish some hours later on the Carrefour de l’Arbre. On the menu were 95 kilometers and 16 of the 27 cobble stone sections.


"The cobbles are the same as those from last year. Honestly I am no big cobble fan. I never feel very good on them. Last year I was tenth in Roubaix, that was not too bad. I hope to improve on that this year. We will see. These cobbles are really different from those of Flanders. There they are mostly uphill. Here they are flat and slightly worse, or really worse like this last one here to the Carrefour de l’Arbre," said a healthy Alexander Kristoff.


"We did not do the first eight sections. I heard that they are very muddy. What we did was OK, just two wet sections but OK. We were lucky today without any rain. If it is like this on Sunday it will not be a problem. A wet Paris-Roubaix would not be an advantage to me. It would be dangerous for all riders. For sure there would be crashes on the slippery roads like I remember from the wet Tour de France cobble stage. There they took away some sections but I doubt that they will consider to do that now. Anyway, if you are good on the bike and lucky for sure, bad weather can be interesting too as some competitors will crash away," added Alexander Kristoff, who got the company of three-time winner Johan Museeuw around Orchies.


After wins in Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs Team KATUSHA’s leader Kristoff started in 2015 as the big favorite in Paris-Roubaix, but finished tenth.


"Last year already I knew from myself that I most likely would not win as I never felt super comfortable on the bike on these cobbles. I was 10th. That’s not bad, but still far away from a win. Now again I am no favorite, also because of previous Paris-Roubaix races. I did the race six times. I finished only three times but finished twice in top ten. If I am better than 9th, my best result, I must be happy, but I will do everything to follow guys like Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan and to try to win," concluded Alexander Kristoff.



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