The 117th edition of Paris-Roubaix promises to once again dish up a hugely exciting day and sees us start with a highly experienced group.
Our lineup includes Bernhard Eisel who tackles the 257km race for a 16th time, having completed all 15 prior occasions that he’s started and finishing in the top-10 twice. Alongside the Austrian will be Lars Bak who takes on the ‘Hell of the North’ for a 13th time, having finished 5th in 2011.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, who looked to hold out for a win at Scheldeprijs earlier in the week after launching a solo attack in the final 15km, hopes to capitalise on the experience that’s seen him been in contention in the final stages of the Monument on a number of previous occasions. He was 5th in 2016 and will start for an 8th time this Sunday.
Completing our lineup is the experienced trio of Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Julien Vermote and Jay Thomson; while neo-pro Rasmus Tiller has recovered from a nasty crash at Schldeprijs and is set to make his Paris-Roubaix debut. The 22-year-old previously competed in the junior version of the race in 2014.
“My form is certainly getting better, I’m not where I was hoping to be this Spring, playing catch-up since getting sick but my plan earlier in the week was to try and attack at Schelderprijs and see how far I could get. I didn’t get to the finish line, well I got there eventually, but not first, and I was happy to get through without any issues. So that’s good and I’m now looking forward to Sunday.
“After the recon today I can confirm that the cobbles are still bumpy, they haven’t changed much. But it’s always good to test equipment, see how the sections are and if there’s anything new. The ride itself was still a bit hard after yesterday’s exertions but it was good.”
“In terms of Sunday’s race, luck does play quite a big factor: you need to have plenty of form, you need to have a lot of luck but you need to try and stay in front and out of trouble, then it’s a good chance to have a good day.” – Edvald Boasson Hagen
“It’s the last cobblestones classics before the Ardennes starts and so it’s one of the really big moments in cycling. It’s a race with a big history and known as the ‘Hell of the North’ for good reason.
“29 very hard cobblestone sections equal over 50 really hard kilometres and which also makes it one of the most beautiful races to watch live – both on TV or on the course itself.
“As a team we have a couple of really strong riders that we will be looking at doing well. Edvald for instance was 5th year a couple of years ago and some of the others have finished similarly in the past, so we’re really looking forward to Sunday.” – Jean-Pierre Heynderickx