For the first time in the team’s history, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will start the Paris-Roubaix when the race gets underway tomorrow. The 253km World Tour race will see 200km on tarred roads, the rest will all be on the famous French cobblestones.
The ‘Hell of the North’ and the ‘Queen of the classics’ is one of the most iconic spectacles in world sport and it is fantastic that Africa will have a team in this years edition of the event. The mystical forest of Arenberg and the feared Carrefour de l’Arbre sound like they could be places in a children’s story book. Tomorrow MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will hope to write their own fairy tale over these two cobble sections and the 25 others that lie ahead of them as well.
The 8 riders ready to go into battle for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are Gerald Ciolek, Tyler Farrar, Theo Bos, Matt Goss, Andy Stauff, Matt Brammeier, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Jay Thomson. The season goal was to assist Edvald Boasson Hagen to victory here at Roubaix but with the Norwegian out of action due to injury, the riders will have free reign to be protagonists of the race.
The team will be on special Cervelo R3 Mud bikes tomorrow, you can get the low down on them here: R3 Mud Specs. African fans be sure to tune into SuperSport 5 at 12:50 to catch all the Paris-Roubaix action live.
Jay Thomson – Rider
For me as a rider, it’s a dream to race the Hell of the North so I’m really looking forward to Sunday. The expectations of the team are certainly to have someone fighting for the win. We haven’t had the best of fortunes this classic’s season but if things fall into place tomorrow then we have a great shot. Tyler is in good condition, Gerald is in good condition and I can’t say that anybody else here is going badly. So if we can support our top riders at the key moments of the race we stand a good chance. Lady luck hasn’t been in place for us this classics season, if we give it everything tomorrow I’m sure we will have our turn. This is the last race of our classics season and its pretty much a do-or-die race for us. This is a race we have prepared for all year so there is nothing left to do but go out there and just leave everything out on the road.
JP Heynderick – Sport Director
We would really like a very big result at Paris-Roubaix and that is what our goal for this race is. Tactically, we would like to place a rider in the break and from there we will need to try have at least one rider represented in the final selection of the race. From this situation, we will have a card to play.