Though Geraint Thomas punctuated his predominantly stage race-oriented season with appearances at Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, his Classics campaign has ended and he will not line up at the start in Compiègne on Sunday.
Stannard and Rowe were active in Flanders on Sunday: Stannard going solo for a period, while Rowe rolled with the punches and bagged fifth place – his best ever finish.
While the Rowe is enjoying his strongest Classics campaign to date, Stannard, third at E3-Harelbeke, feels he is going into the race with greater freshness than the previous two seasons when he had ridden – and won – Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February. The pair will enjoy joint leadership, with tactical decisions to be made out on the road.
Cyclingnews spoke to Rowe and Stannard about Roubaix at the start of Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, and you’ll be able read their thoughts on Thursday morning.
Sky are sticking with Christian Knees and Salvatore Puccio as support riders, while 21-year-old Gianni Moscon has been trusted with a second Monument appearance in two weeks in what is his debut season as a professional
Andy Fenn, who was a DNF at E3-Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, earns the second Roubaix appearance of his career, while Danny van Poppel and Elia Viviani round out the squad, two riders known primarily for their sprinting, but both aiming to play bigger roles in the Classics in the coming years.
Team Sky for Paris-Roubaix: Andrew Fenn, Christian Knees, Gianni Moscon, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Danny van Poppel, Elia Viviani.
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