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Paris-Roubaix wildcards announced

Riders tackle the cobble sectors in the 2008 Paris-Roubaix

Riders tackle the cobble sectors in the 2008 Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: AFP)

The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced yesterday the wildcards for the 107th edition of Paris-Roubaix, April 12. Cervélo TestTeam, Agritubel, Skil-Shimano, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, BMC Racing, Topsport Vlaanderen, Vacansoleil and Amica Chips-Knauf have received the precious spots for the prestigious one-day Classic in France. They will join 17 ProTour level teams.

"It shows the level of confidence that the race organisations have in our future," said BMC's Directeur Sportif John Lelangue. "It is an incredible race and every one of our riders will be proud to participate."

BMC's Danilo Wyss finished on the podium in the Under 23 version of the race, noted for its cobbled roads.

"We are counting on young riders like Wyss, Martin Kohler, Thomas Frei and Brent Bookwalter. I was also very pleased to see how well Ian McKissick handled the cobbles in the most recent races in Flanders. We will also have more experienced riders like Alex Moos, Jeff Louder and Tony Cruz to round out a very strong group."

The expectations for the newly formed Cervélo team are certainly high; its riders have had an amazing start to the season. Roger Hammond, who finished 23rd in last year's Paris-Roubaix, already won a stage at the Tour of Qatar. Heinrich Haussler has also proved to be on good form with a stage win in Paris-Nice.

The invitation of Agritubel and Amica Chips came as a surprise because they have no real specialists for the cobbles in their ranks. Skil Shimano, Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, Topsport Vlaanderen and Vacansoleil train regularly on the difficult roads and will be strong on the cobbles. (BH)

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