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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp)
Garmin rider puts last week's crash behind him
Early in the race, Vansummeren rode into a traffic island and smashed into a 65-year-old woman. The woman is still in critical condition in a hospital in Kortrijk but her situation is said to be stable. Vansummeren was in contact with the family of the woman and they urged him to race Paris-Roubaix.
At the team presentation on Saturday afternoon, Vansummeren said he looked forward to race again although he was reaching in the dark regarding his form.
"I've trained for months so I think I'm physically ready for it. I hope it'll be alright with the peloton. I'm actually looking forward to the race," Vansummeren said.
Back in 2011, the tall Belgian surprisingly won Paris-Roubaix and two days ago he decided to take the start despite all the thoughts he had on his mind. "It's hard. But I'm better off on the bike then staying at home behind closed doors. It's a way to forget what happened. I'm staying in contact on the phone," said the 33-year-old Belgian.
On Thursday he did a reconnaissance of the cobbles, riding 95 kilometres until the Carrefour de l'Arbre and that brought some sort of relief. The injured woman's husband said he wanted Vansummeren to race in the Queen of Classics and to win it again as a tribute to his wife.
"Of course I want to win it badly. That's what I have been training for all winter. I'm in good shape and ,in any case I'm planning to ride a solid race, to stay with the best and see what happens. Nothing's guaranteed on Paris-Roubaix but I believe it's possible," the Garmin Sharp rider said.
In the Garmin-Sharp team, Vansummeren will be flanked by Jack Bauer, Tyler Farrar, Lasse Norman Hansen, Raymond Kreder, Sebastian Langeveld, David Millar and Dylan Van Baarle.