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"My dream is, just like anyone else, to arrive solo at the velodrome. But if I may put my hands in the air, it doesn’t matter what happened in the race. It’s the final result that counts.”

Photo: Lotto Soudal

ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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PARIS - ROUBAIX

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SEAN DE BIE

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STIG BROECKX

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TIESJ BENOOT

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10.04.2015 @ 14:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The entire Lotto Soudal selection did a recon of Paris-Roubaix on Thursday. It’s the 113th edition of the Hell of the North this year. The route between the start in Compiègne and the Velodrome in Roubaix is 253.3 kilometres long. Jürgen Roelandts is the leading man in the team. Just like in the Ronde, Tiesj Benoot will stand by his side.

 

“We will start with the exact same riders as in the Tour of Flanders, Jürgen Roelandts will be our leading man. Also our strategy will be the same: anticipate and ride offensively. Tiesj Benoot set a wonderful performance last Sunday. We’re very proud he has roots in our U23 team. On Sunday, Tiesj will support Jürgen again," sports director Herman Frison said.

 

“Compared to the Ronde, riders dare to attack a lot earlier in Paris-Roubaix. Roubaix is a race of elimination. Until now, we can be very happy about our spring season. Since Milan-Sanremo we always achieved a top ten spot, but Sunday we will search once again for the icing on the cake. The team did a recon, starting in Denain, 108.5 kilometres from the finish line, and finishing at the Carrefour de l’Arbre. It was remarkable that the cobblestone sectors were cleaner than other years, less sand and gravel. Nevertheless each sector is hard."

 

“I rested a lot this week," Roelandts said. "On Wednesday I trained about 100 kilometres, and now we had the recon. The recon was good to put pressure on the legs. It was especially nice with the sun. The next few days it we all be about rest. Since Milan-Sanremo I have a good feeling. It’s impossible for me to be at the start with a better shape than this. I’m hoping for the legs I had in Ghent-Wevelgem, my best day until now.

 

“Of course I put pressure on myself. I hope to win one big classic race in my career. There aren’t that many chances and I already had my portion of bad luck and injuries. I have a big sense of inner motivation. Paris-Roubaix suits me more than the Tour of Flanders. Due to injuries in the past, this will only be my fourth participation in the Hell.

 

"Concerning the competition I expect  the same riders like in the Ronde: Alexander Kristoff, Niki Terpstra and John Degenkolb. Also Bradley Wiggins will be present. This race is his main goal and last year he already was in the group that was contesting the second place.

 

“The team is strong and I hope to have three or four teammates around me for the last 50 kilometres. We have to race offensively again and take the chances if they appear. In the Ronde it’s possible to correct mistakes, in Roubaix it isn’t. Once you have to let go, you barely have a chance to get back to the front of the race. The race could be open in a very early phase and that wouldn’t be a disadvantage for me. I dare to race and I’m not afraid of that. My dream is, just like anyone else, to arrive solo at the velodrome. But if I may put my hands in the air, it doesn’t matter what happened in the race. It’s the final result that counts.”

 

“I feel wonderful at the moment, my shape and moral are good," Benoot said. "In the Tour of Flanders I surprised myself. I had a good winter and the team scheduled a well balanced race scheme, but I didn’t expect this. I had hoped for a good result and knew that my shape was good, but I never could have dreamed of a top five spot. Compared to the U23 category the races are longer. This suits me better, it’s less explosive. I’ve set a step each season over the last few years.

 

“Jürgen  is our only leading man, and I feel good in my free role. I still can benefit from my status. The favourites won’t focus on me, so if I attack they won’t react that fast. I can race without any pressure and stay relaxed. If I have the same legs in Paris-Roubaix as in the Ronde I could get far, if I don’t have bad luck. But I’m not going to predict a specific result. I put myself under a little bit of pressure, it has a stimulating effect.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Stig Broeckx, Sean De Bie, Jens Debusschere, André Greipel, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

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