By Katharina Shulz
Swedish giant Magnus Bäckstedt, who won the 'Queen of the Classics' in 2004, is finally ready for the road again. After having to fight with several injuries and problems resulting from surgery on his shoulder after a training crash, he is back for his favourite race. And he's not overly modest either: "My form is good, even though I have only taken part in two races this year. I'm not planning on hiding myself this Sunday. Cancellara, Ballan and Boonen are the favourites, together with me," Bäckstedt told Danish CyclingWorld.
Fellow Scandinavian Thor Hushovd is less enthusiastic about Paris - Roubaix. He has just recently recovered from the intestinal troubles that forced him to skip Milano - San Remo, and although he is confident about his form, he doesn't count himself among the favourites, he told Nettavisen. "But I will always have an outsider's chance in races like this. If I manage to hang on in there and make it safely to the last pavés, my chances are really good."
He adds: "Things are rarely boiled down to a mass sprint in Paris - Roubaix, and if they are, it is a group of 15 riders at the most. In that case I would have an extremely good chance of being successful."