With just a few days until arguably the biggest one day Classic on the calendar, the roads around Roubaix are become awash with professional riders and team cars.
Expectations for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix are reaching almost boiling point with a number of Classic contenders ready to do battle on the fabled pave.
In Kortrijk, Belgium, this morning, Tom Boonen will limber up with a final training ride on some of the race’s key sections, including the legendary Arenberg Forest. The Omega-Pharma QuickStep leader has been in scintillating form all spring and his confidence will be sky high after his win in Flanders last weekend.
With no Fabian Cancellara on the start list it’s up to a number of other individuals to bring the fight to Boonen and his all-conquering team. At a press conference on the other side of Kortrijk yesterday, Alessandro Ballan and Thor Hushovd talked up their own chances of victory. The Italian has the better form but Hushovd has shone in Roubaix more often than not and is one of the true rivals Boonen should fear in a velodrome sprint.
BMC were one of the first teams to ride recon yesterday but they certainly weren’t alone. Garmin-Barracuda and their Belgian duo of Sep Vanmarcke and defending champion Johan Vansummeren were among those testing out equipment and the parcours. GreenEdge, Saxo Bank and FDJ-BigMat were also present, while the likes of Sky, Rabobank, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia and Boonen’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep will train today.