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Selfie sticks and t-shirt guns: the Paris-Roubaix teams presentation - Gallery

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Selfies with World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

Selfies with World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) at the team presentation

Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) at the team presentation
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) outside the Tinkoff Team bus

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) outside the Tinkoff Team bus
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Paris-Roubaix team presentation was held outside under cooler temperatures

Paris-Roubaix team presentation was held outside under cooler temperatures
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Paris-Roubaix cobbles

Paris-Roubaix cobbles
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and his teammates set to walk on stage at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and his teammates set to walk on stage at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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All kinds of bicycles are at Paris-Roubaix

All kinds of bicycles are at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Lars Boom (Astana) signs autographs for kids at Paris-Roubaix

Lars Boom (Astana) signs autographs for kids at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) talks to the press outside his team bus at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) talks to the press outside his team bus at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) signs water bottles at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) signs water bottles at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Lars Boom (Astana) speaks to the press on the eve of Paris-Roubaix

Lars Boom (Astana) speaks to the press on the eve of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix

Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) at the team presentation for Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Team Giant-Alpecin at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation

Team Giant-Alpecin at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) arrives for the team presentation

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) arrives for the team presentation
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) speaks with the press at Paris-Roubaix team presentation

Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) speaks with the press at Paris-Roubaix team presentation
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and brother Juraj at Paris-Roubaix

World champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and brother Juraj at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Alexander Kristoff (Kausha) is one of the favourites for Paris-Roubaix

Alexander Kristoff (Kausha) is one of the favourites for Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Bernard Hinault smiling with the riders at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation

Bernard Hinault smiling with the riders at the Paris-Roubaix team presentation
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) at Paris-Roubaix

Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Josh Evans)
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Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will be racing Paris-Roubaix on Sunday

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will be racing Paris-Roubaix on Sunday
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) speaks with the press at the team presentation

Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) speaks with the press at the team presentation
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) at the pre-team presentation

Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) at the pre-team presentation
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Team Astana presented on stage on the eve of Paris-Roubaix

Team Astana presented on stage on the eve of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Fabian Cancellara is no stranger to a Paris-Roubaix team presentation but he discovered an unwelcome change as he arrived in Compiègne on Saturday for his final one.

The traditional set-up, whereby riders come into the main square, make their way through a fan and sponsor village before getting up on stage and going away with a goody bag, has been revamped, and the 35-year-old cut a confused figure as he walked straight through the media zone – now the first port of call – without stopping.

When he did get his bearings he returned to answer a few questions and seemed disappointed to discover that time was marching on, with no regard for the importance of his final rituals.

“I spoke to one of our riders, Marco Coledan – it’s his first Paris-Roubaix – and I said ‘let’s go to the presentation, let’s do the loop with all the fans and the sponsors’. But then we came in and you don’t do the loop anymore with all the small gifts – that’s what I explained he would see today,” Cancellara said.

“This has changed, everything is changing,” he mused, shortly before taking to the stage alongside a 23-year-old Jasper Stuyven gleefully brandishing a selfie stick.

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) is very much the spearhead of that new generation, and the world champion indulged the big kid inside him when he was given a go with the promotional gun – used by podium girls to launch t-shirts into the air for the crowd.

Having previously used the Tour de France points classification trophy as a mock machine gun, and having spent the aftermath of his Tour of Flanders win playing with a remote control car, Sagan was the perfect man for the job.

“It’s a special and unique race,” Sagan told the media a few moments beforehand. “Roubaix is different to Flanders. The winner needs to be very lucky and be in the front and be in good shape. I just feel good. I’ve picked up experience every day.

When asked what changed for him after winning Flanders, he joked: “Nothing – only more interviews…”

Along with Cancellara and Sagan, the loudest cheers in the square were reserved for Tom Boonen, the joint record holder for most wins at Paris-Roubaix, with four. Though the Etixx-QuickStep rider is a Belgian, with three wins at the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix is his favourite race – he has a special relationship with it, and the French fans with him.

“Ever since the crash last season, this is the race I’ve been preparing for,” Boonen said. “It’s my favourite race, and I’m ready to do something. I’m not doing the race to come fourth or fifth; I’m racing to win.”

Towards the end of the presentation, rain portentously began to fall in Compiègne. Heavy rain was predicted for Sunday at the start of the week, but now it seems like the race itself will be dry, though overnight rainfall could leave its mark on the pavé, with some of the early sectors already being muddy and roughed up.

“The early sectors are the worst, but I don’t see a problem,” Team Sky DS and former winner Servais Knaven told Cyclingnews after coming off the stage. He also revealed he had done a wet and muddy recon with Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard last week, and gave them tips for how to ride in the sort of conditions in which he flourished for his 2001 victory.

“You must not make big accelerations,” he said. “You have to try to keep your line, and don’t touch your breaks when you go of the middle of the cobbles because then for sure you’ll crash.”

Alexander Kristoff played down his chances after coming off his recon ride on Thursday, and the Katusha rider once again pointed to the Tour of Flanders podium – Sagan, Cancellara, and Sep Vanmarcke – as the top three favourites for today.

Having been dropped by Sagan on the Paterberg at Flanders last week, and with Cancellara stronger in the chase, the LottoNL-Jumbo rider was at a loss as to how to get the better of them.

“How’s the tactic? I don’t know, just be stronger and try to drop them, but that’s not easy with those two,” he said. “We have to see how the race develops. I hope I have luck on my side, but it won’t be easy to drop them.”

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