Captain Quinziato ready for Roubaix

Manuel Quinziato will lead Liquigas this Sunday in the cobbled classic, Paris-Roubaix. The Italian,...

Manuel Quinziato will lead Liquigas this Sunday in the cobbled classic, Paris-Roubaix. The Italian, 29, showed he is on hot form last weekend in Ronde van Vlaanderen by being the last man standing to Stijn Devolder's winning attack on the Kapelmuur.

"I go to bed calm knowing that I have prepared well and lived the life of a cyclist. You have to dish out the pain in the race, you don't want to not sleep the night before," said Quinziato to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Last Sunday, Quinziato went free in an escape prior to the Koppenberg. He fought to eventually form a two-man move with Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel, but the addition of Devolder meant trouble. Ten steep climbs later, Quinziato did not have the strength to follow Devolder's winning attack on the Kapelmuur.

Quinziato's focus now shifts to Paris-Roubaix: a flat 259 kilometres that is littered with nearly 55 kilometres of dangerous cobbles. Despite mechanicals and working for Filippo Pozzato, he had a great ride there in 2008. Liquigas will drive from its Belgian base to France to preview the pavé sectors today.

"You have to hit the pavé sectors at full force or you will not make it out. In training I don't have the grit to confront the pavé. I know that I will be the last of my team at the exit of every sector.

"I know that if the Belgians go down to preview the sectors it must be the right thing to do. Even Alessandro Ballan called me up to convince me the importance of reconnaissance."

Defending champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Pozzato are the top favourites for Sunday. However, Quinziato is a danger man and won't go unnoticed if he makes it in the front group past the Arenberg sector.

"You need to pay attention to the experience of [George] Hincapie. Boonen and 'Pippo' cancelled each other out in Flanders, but it will be difficult to have that happen again. They will be looking for redemption."

Quinziato will be backed by Daniel Oss, Jacopo Guarnieri, Enrico Franzoi, Murilo Fischer, Aleksandr Kuschynski, Francesco Chicchi and Maciej Bodnar. The team is subject to change before tomorrow. (GB)

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