By Les Clarke
Despite receiving criticism earlier in the week for its lack of results, Silence-Lotto is in decent shape ahead of Paris-Roubaix, according to one of the Belgian squad's key rivals.
Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews that Silence-Lotto's Leif Hoste may stand a better chance of success in the Queen of the Classics than initially thought by many observers.
"Nobody speaks about Hoste at the moment," said Lefevere. "Maybe he won't be ready for Flanders, but I'm sure that for Roubaix he's coming into form slowly but he'll be there."
Silence-Lotto's affable Belgian Classics specialist, who has kept a low profile thus far this season, is currently struggling to gain his usual form. Quick Step's mastermind believes that masks what he may produce at Roubaix, April 12.
De Panne's final-stage time trial may hold the key to gauging Hoste's form, and hence the chances of Silence-Lotto at this pivotal part of the season.
"He's suffering, but I think that with every day that passes, he's getting better. I'm curious to see if he does the time trial here in De Panne, what form he'll be in."
Stay tuned for a feature with Quick Step's Patrick Lefevere ahead of the Spring Classics.