2016 Paris-Roubaix winner Mat Hayman is back again - for the 17th time in his career, he will take on the Hell of the North, possibly for the last time.
The 39-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider is seriously contemplating retiring at the end of the season, telling Cyclingnews earlier this season, "I did tell my wife the other week that if I did another she should shoot me."
In a team press release, Hayman looked forward to finishing the race in the historic Roubaix velodrome again.
"This will be my 17th Roubaix. Roubaix has always been special to me," Hayman said. "I have always finished, once over the time cut, but I've always made sure I get to the cross the line on the velodrome."
In addition to his victory two years ago, Hayman has finished inside the top 10 twice, and last year finished just outside it.
"Last year when I went back, Scott made me a beautiful bike which was really nice, it added a bit of pressure but I really enjoyed it. This year I'm looking for a big result."
Directeur sportif Matt Wilson admitted the Mitchelton-Scott team hadn't had much in the way of results so far in the Classics, but is hoping to turn things around on Sunday.
"We haven't had a lot of luck so far but there's been some really good signs that the guys are going well, we just need to put it together on the day," Wilson said. "We're looking for a podium spot, I think it's achievable and hopefully it all goes right on Sunday.
"It's a race with a lot of surprises as we know and we do have a few different cards to play and that is our strength, but Matteo Trentin will be our leader and we will see how the race goes and play it with our other riders from there.
"Mat Hayman wasn't the only one who has won this race from a breakaway, it's one of the few Classics where that is an option. The most important thing is to have guys there in the final that you can play so we will go into it with quite an open plan and try to put guys in a good position in the final."
Mitchelton-Scott for Paris-Roubaix: Mat Hayman, Jack Bauer, Luke Durbridge, Alex Edmondson, Roger Kluge, Luka Mezgec, Matteo Trentin
Kelderman out of Fleche Wallonne, Romandie
Kelderman crashed on stage 5 of Tirreno Adriatico and suffered a broken collarbone. While the bone healed relatively quickly, the Dutchman suffered some loss of sensation in his arm, caused by damage to the nerves because of the crash.
He was due to return in Fleche Wallonne and race the Tour of Romandie, but the plan has been postponed. "His situation is being closely monitored," the team stated.
Simon Geschke, who also broke his collarbone in Tirreno-Adriatico, is still slated to return in the Ardennes classics.
Nikias Arndt is out with a cold and has been replaced by German Phil Bauhaus for Paris-Roubaix. Martijn Tusveld is still feeling the effects of an Epstein Barr infection and is being kept out of competition after feeling fatigue during the early season races.
Kristoff hoping to shrug off cold for Paris-Roubaix
UAE Team Emirates is banking on European Champion Alexander Kristoff for Paris-Roubaix, but the Norwegian has been suffering from illness this spring, and has not been at top speed since taking fourth in Milan-San Remo.
"We're going to Paris-Roubaix with the hope that our leader Alexander Kristoff has recovered in this week some form after colds that slowed down the first part this northern campaign," said sports director Mario Scirea.
The squad will keep most of the riders who have been with Kristoff in the other Classics, with the exception of Ben Swift, who crashed in the Tour of Flanders. He will be replaced by Roberto Ferrari.
Should Kristoff not find his speed, Scirea is ready to employ some of the team's younger riders in the race strategy.
"Alex is a warrior, but at this level you have to be 100 per cent ready to compete with the best. We are going to study a plan with our young riders, who are showing a good appreciation and spirit for these type of races."
UAE Team Emirates for Paris-Roubaix: Alexander Kristoff, Filippo Ganna, Roberto Ferrari, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Marco Marcato, Oliviero Troia, Simone Consonni.
Hell of the North teaser
The ASO has released its official video teaser for the 2018 edition of Paris-Roubaix, with high definition footage of races from the recent and more distant past.
Test your Paris-Roubaix knowledge to see if you can identify all the years that are included in the clip. We think it's pretty good, but does it compare to Cyclingnews Films' "Holy Week" - you be the judge.
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