Quick-Step Floors have announced their eight-man team for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. After Tour of Flanders winner, Philippe Gilbert, was ruled out earlier this week, there were few surprises in the Belgian team's roster.
Tom Boonen will lead the team in his final race as a professional rider as he seeks to make history by wining the race for a fifth time.
Joining Boonen will be Niki Terpstra, who won the race in 2014. The Dutch rider has found form just at the right time, with fourth in Gent-Wevelgem and third in the Tour of Flanders. The 32-year-old will start alongside Dwars Door Vlaanderen winner, Yves Lampaert, and fellow Belgian Iljo Keisse.
There is also a spot for Matteo Trentin. The Italian was instrumental in Gilbert's Tour of Flanders win, helping the Belgian escape on the Muur before doubling up with Boonen to ensure that the lead group stayed clear of Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet. Zdenek Stybar, who finished second in Paris-Roubaix in 2015, and won Strade Bianche in the same season, also makes the roster. The Czech rider enjoyed a strong start to the season but has been used as a super domestique in recent weeks. The final two spots have been taken by Julien Vermote and Tim Declercq. The eight-man team boasts 30 Paris-Roubaix participations between them.
On Wednesday Boonen competed in his final race on home soil, crossing the line in 43rd place at Scheldeprijs. The focus now turns to Roubaix and a possible fairy-tale ending
"That was an enormously fun experience," Boone said after Scheldeprijs. "I can't thank the people enough for that because it was an unforgettable experience."
When asked why he was still wearing his leg warmers, Boonen had a quick reply. "It was training today. With this victory, the team did the maximum to get me in a relaxed way at the start of Paris-Roubaix. Tomorrow, there's still the press conference and after that there's rest. I'm ready for something beautiful."
Quick-Step Floors for Paris-Roubaix: Tom Boonen, Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse, Yves Lampaert, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote.
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