At T-Mobile, the rider associated most with Paris-Roubaix has finally recovered: Steffen Wesemann is ready to race again this week-end, although the 2004 winner of the Tour of Flanders has been ill with a flu these past few weeks. "I'm healthy again, but the question now is: what am I able to do in the race?," a still confident Wesemann told Cyclingnews on Saturday. "I can't say that yet. I took a four-day break, after the flu that started in Milano-Sanremo came back. So now, I'm healthy, but I don't know what I can achieve."
So what were his hopes for this year's Paris-Roubaix? "Of course, I hope to win, otherwise I wouldn't be at the start," was Wesemann's dry response. "But it would be big-headed to think it possible. Ideally, I aim for a top ten placing. That would be realistic."
Asked if he counted on his teammate Andreas Klier to achieve his goal, Wesemann said, "It doesn't matter who in our team gets there, but it will probably be one of us two."
Klier, after his second placing in Gent-Wevelgem this week, had reason to be confident. "I feel good, the legs are still good and the head is getting better, too," he said. "We'll see. I'm not a top favourite, and I honestly haven't made very positive experiences here yet. With a little bit of luck, why not? If you end up with the best in front, you will probably lose if you're not a specialist, but there have been surprises here before. I have the good legs as a basis for it."
About his teammate, Klier said, "Even if 'Wese' was ill, he has the experience of this race over the years, and it makes a great difference when you're made for this race. Even if he's only at 90 percent, he'll still be better here than me on the cobbles. On the other hand, there are also 200 km of tarmac on the course. So I feel confident - let's just see what happens," he added.
"We rode about 100 km of the course yesterday, from the Arenberg forest until the third last cobble section. It not like it's really safe to ride - I hurt myself badly before at this race, so I'll watch out, " Klier concluded.