BMC change focus for Paris-Roubaix
BMC have been forced to make some changes to their line-up for Paris-Roubaix with team leader Greg van Avermaet out with a broken collarbone following his Tour of Flanders crash. The American outfit will be looking to riders such as Daniel Oss and Taylor Phinney for a result but without a clear favourite it will be a chance for all the riders to do something for themselves.
"Of course we are going to miss Greg on Sunday but we are still going in with a strong team and we have a couple of different options. It's a great chance for all of our riders to show what they can do and take any opportunity that presents itself, which is rare in a race like Paris-Roubaix," said directeur sportif Fabio Baldato.
BMC for Paris-Roubaix: Marcus Burghardt, Jempy Drucker, Floris Gerts, Stefan Küng, Daniel Oss, Taylor Phinney, Manuel Quinziato, Rick Zabel.
On-board with Jasper Stuyven in the Arenberg Forest
Riis team delayed until 2018
Bjarne Riis and Lars Seier Christensen are still working on building a WorldTour team, but admitted this week that the aim to launch the squad next year was probably too ambitious. In an interview with TV2 Sport, Riis said they are not close enough to signing a sponsor for the new team.
"We know that time is short to find sponsors. Some are already in place, but we do not have a title sponsor. We are not too nervous about the secondary sponsors and so on. There we have many contacts," Riis said.
The Dane said they have a strategy to attract a title sponsor and now just need to concentrate on getting one signed.
Riis brushed aside questions about his rumoured link to the nascent Bahrain pro cycling team of Prince Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa that was reported in February, saying his first priority is making their own cycling team.
"This does not mean that there is not a possibility that I will do something else. So it might be that I was hired somewhere. But then it would of course not be our own project."
Waeytens extends with Giant-Alpecin
The disappointment of missing out on this weekend’s Paris-Roubaix will be tempered somewhat for Zico Waeytens after securing another two-years on his contract with the Giant-Alpecin team. The new deal will see the 24-year-old stay with the team until 2018.
"I am happy to extend my contract with the team. It's a sign of trust for me that we can show our commitment for two more years,” said Waeytens. “I feel the team has confidence in me and it was a straightforward decision. We are on the same level regarding ambition and expectations and I will get the opportunity to grow in the classics and further develop my sprint."
Waeytens was due to ride at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday but was forced to pull out after tearing a muscle during a crash at the Tour of Flanders. He will be replaced by Dutchman Lars van der Haar, who is making his debut at the Hell of the North, and Waeytens is expected to return for Brabantse Pijl next week.
Giant-Alpecin for Paris-Roubaix: Søren Kragh Andersen, Nikias Arndt, Roy Curvers, Bert De Backer, Koen de Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Stamsnijder, Lars van der Haar.