Ellingworth: No rider is guaranteed leadership in Paris-Roubaix

Wiggins and others must prove their worth

Team Sky riders will have to prove their credentials if they are to secure leadership roles in Paris-Roubaix, says Rod Ellingworth, the team’s head of performance operations.

The team heads into the Spring Classics with a number of potential leaders, including Bradley Wiggins, Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas.

On Saturday the squad seek to defend Stannard’s crown in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before racing Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Wiggins has pencilled in Paris-Roubaix as his final race for the WorldTour team before he takes his place in his new WIGGINS squad and aims for the Hour Record. However, Ellingworth has insisted that reputation alone will not guarantee leadership, a factor that Wiggins voiced at the Tour of Qatar earlier this month.

“I don’t think anyone in the team has the right to be the leader for Paris-Roubaix. There’s a lot of racing between now and then and what we’ve learnt is that anything can happen so there’s no point now saying we’re going to ride solely for one person,” Ellingworth told Cyclingnews.

“We’re keeping all the doors and opportunities open and what we do is have a long list, and we’ll have that until the last few days before. It’s about taking the best eight or nine riders and there’s no personal deals and the best guys will be on the line.”

Wiggins has made Paris-Roubaix the main goal of his remaining few months at Team Sky and Ellingworth, who told Cyclingnews that he is fully behind the former Tour winner’s bid, added that the rest of the squad would be fully focused on the team’s overall ambitions of winning their first Monument.

“Brad is a big star and everyone knows that and he deserves that attention. Knowing Ian, Geraint and the others that won't put them off their game. They’re hard workers and their feet are firmly on the floor.”

Click here for the full interview with Rod Ellingworth.

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