With the 105th edition of Paris-Roubaix just days away, the team rosters are starting to take shape...
T-Mobile hoping for continued success
With the 105th edition of Paris-Roubaix just days away, the team rosters are starting to take shape for this epic race. After a huge success in Gent-Wevelgem, the T-Mobile team is riding high on the momentum built by Marcus Burghardt and Roger Hammond's one-two punch. Burghardt might have just won his first professional race, but he's no stranger to the cobbled Classic. The big German placed fourth in the Espoir version of Paris-Roubaix in 2004, and considers the race one of his favourites.
Roger Hammond is no stranger to Paris-Roubaix, either. The 33-year-old Briton scored one of his best career podium placings in Roubaix in 2004, taking third behind Magnus Backstedt and Tristan Hoffman - and in a twist of fate, Hoffman is the current T-Mobile team director. "Paris-Roubaix is one of his big season objectives and he is ready," said Hoffman.
Hammond played perfect team tactics in Wevelgem, allowing his lanky team-mate to take the win, and now he's hoping to have a repeat performance on Sunday. "Wednesday’s race was really good for the confidence. I am really looking forward to Paris-Roubaix; it’s an absolutely massive race and a great race to get on the podium. We have a really strong team and many cards to play. Tactically, the sporting managers got it spot on yesterday, so let's see what they have planned for us in France."
One rider who is on the roster, but might not be able to start is Servais Knaven. The Dutchman was one of the many crash victims in Gent-Wevelgem. "Servais suffered bruised ribs, which are giving him pain," said Hoffman, but plans are to give Knaven time to recover before deciding on his start and keep US rider Aaron Olson as a standby replacement.
T-Mobile for Paris-Roubaix: Eric Baumann, Lorenzo Bernucci, Marcus Burghardt, Bernhard Eisel, Roger Hammond, Bert Grabsch, Andreas Klier, Servais Knaven, Aaron Olson (reserve). Director sportif: Tristan Hoffman and Brian Holm
Wiesenhof to make the most of wildcard slot
Steffen Wesemann and Team Wiesenhof-Felt are thankful for a wild-card invitation to Paris-Roubaix and intend to make the most of their chance. "I'll do everything I can to provide a big surprise on Sunday," the Swiss rider promised. "As a pro cyclist, you have to experience Paris-Roubaix. It is one of the most difficult races and absolutely the most fascinating," Wesemann said. "I am glad that we got the invitation from the ASO because I don't think I'll have many more opportunities to ride one of my favourite races."
Ronny Lauke, director sportif of the Professional Continental team, called the race "one of our big season highlights. It can't be compared with any other race and is therefore always especially interesting."
Wiesenhof-Felt for Paris-Roubaix: Steffen Wesemann, Bas Giling, Robert Wagner, Jörg Ludewig, Steffen Radochla, Felix Odebrecht, Olaf Pollack and Artur Gajek.
Kopp to lead battered Gerolsteiner squad
David Kopp will lead Team Gerolsteiner Sunday in the 105th edition of Paris-Roubaix, the team has announced. Also on the team will be Heinrich Haussler, who is still suffering from a bruised knee, shoulder and elbow, caused by a crash in this week's Gent-Wevelgem. "Heinrich will grit his teeth and give it a try," said director sportif Christian Henn.
Gerolsteiner for Paris-Roubaix: Thomas Fothen, Oscar Gatto, Heinrich Haussler, David Kopp, Sven Krauss, Tom Stamsnijder, Carlo Westphal, and Peter Wrolich.
No Zabel or Petacchi for Milram
Milram will have to ride "the Hell of the North" without captain Erik Zabel, who is still recovering from injuries received in a crash in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, while their other sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi, prefers to avoid the dangers of the cobbled menace. The team will instead count on their other Alessandro - Italian Alessandro Cortinovis - to be a factor.
Milram for Paris-Roubaix: Alessandro Cortinovis, Volodymyr Diudia, Ralf Grabsch, Brett Lancaster, Martin Mueller, Niki Terpstra, Marcel Sieberg and Fabio Sabatini.
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