After months of being plagued by pain due to a shoulder injury, Magnus Backstedt may at long last be back up to full speed. The Liquigas rider went out for a training ride on his beloved pavé to test out the newly healed joint for the upcoming April 15 Paris Roubaix, a race Backstedt won in 2004.
"I decided that Arenberg section would be the best section to test out how my shoulder is holding up. I've been treated by a new physio in London who has done wonders it. Unfortunately, the bike I was hoping to test didn't arrive, but at least I know my shoulder is fine," said Backstedt.
"I was slightly worried that I was going to get on the cobblestones, and I was not going to be able to cope with them. I hit Arenberg at full gas with no pain other than the usual sensations you get from riding them, but I love that feeling so I was like a kid on Christmas morning."
The big Swede continued from Arenberg taking in Wallers and Hornang among other sections, before calling it a good day in Orchies. He then spent the rest of the week training over the famous Belgian climbs that make up the Tour of Flanders even though this the race is not on his programme.
"I needed a day like that on the stones! I'm now ready for the second Sunday in April. I start racing next week in the Castilla y Leon, then the Settimana Bergamasca and Circuit de la Sarthe before heading up to Roubaix. The team and myself have taken the conscious decision to stay away from Flanders and the other cobbled classics to give me a full crack at my race," finished Backstedt.