US road champion Ben King is a late inclusion in the RadioShack team for this Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. The 22-year-old replaces Robbie Hunter after the South African was not deemed ready to race by the team.
King, a first year professional, only made his debut on Belgian roads this week at Scheldeprijs but backed that up with a strong performance in the GP Pino Cerami on Thursday.
At the time of Scheldeprijs, King was only down as a first reserve but told Cyclingnews, "For me and because of the style of rider I am, it could be a once in a life time experience to ride Roubaix. We have a young team but a few experienced guys that we can learn from.”
Although this weekend would mark King’s first senior Roubaix outing, he has experience in the U23 edition, finishing fifth in last year race which was won by his then teammate Taylor Phinney (Team BMC).
“I was here to protect Robbie McEwen for the sprint,” King told Cyclingnews after Scheldeprijs.
“I enjoyed the race and it was a nice day with the sun out but I don’t think it was a typical race in Belgium. I showed up on Tuesday and it was pouring with rain which was a great welcome back.”
“I did two races last year here and I crashed out of one. It’s like a sport here compared to racing in somewhere like the mountains.”
Team RadioShack for Paris-Roubaix: Fumiyuki Beppu, Ben King, Robbie McEwen, Nélson Oliveira, Gregory Rast, Sébastien Rosseler, Bjørn Selander & Jesse Sergent