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Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack)
Former U23 Paris-Roubaix winner excited at new challenge
Yaroslav Popovych has announced that the Spring Classics will be his first goals for the 2012 season. The Ukraninian, a member of the new RadioShack-Nissan team, will be putting his talents to the service of Fabian Cancellara, joining the team from the merging Leopard-Trek squad.
"In 2012, I will focus on the Spring Classics with Cancellara, including Flanders and Roubaix," the 2001 U23 Paris-Roubaix winner told Bicicilismo. "I want to do a good showing in Roubaix because I have always liked these races and I felt at ease with them, despite the crashes and the punctures. I think I can achieve a good result there and help Cancellara."
Eleven years after his U23 Paris-Roubaix victory, the now 31-year-old is excited at the prospect of helping two-time winner Fabian Cancellara to equal triple champion and Classics rival Tom Boonen. "I started to train again in November - when normally I commence only in December - to do a good job in the first part of the year," he added.
The second part of the season will then be dedicated entirely on the Tour de France, where Popovych hopes to be of similar support to the Schleck brothers as he used to be when he was still part of Lance Armstrong's victories. "After the Classics I will be able to focus on the Tour de France without problems," the two-time Tour de France stage winner concluded.