On Sunday morning the pro peloton will line up for the start of Paris-Roubaix in Compiegne, France. The best one-day classics specialists will lock horns over 257 kilometres, with 51.1 of those packed with the cobbles that make the race so unique and hard to win.
The clear favourite is once again Fabian Cancellara, who will become the first rider to win back-to-back doubles in Flanders and Roubaix if he crosses the line first. Should he win he will also equal Tom Boonen’s record of four Roubaix wins.
After such a commanding performance from the Trek leader in last weekend’s Flanders it’s easy to overlook some of the potential challengers but they are there and a Cancellara win is a far from a foregone conclusion.
Sep Vanmarcke and Greg Van Avermaet played different race strategies in Flanders and both came close to winning their first monuments, while Taylor Phinney and Edvald Boasson Hagen both have the potential to make a significant impact on the proceedings.
And what of Boonen, who has so far looked a couple of percent off his best form despite Omega Pharma QuickStep’s strength in number during most of the cobbled season? The three-time winner knows how to win Roubaix, his last crown coming 2012, and he can’t be ruled out.
In this exclusive video Cyclingnews picks 10 riders to watch in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. Whatever the result, the race promises to be a mouth-watering event. Stay tuned to Cyclingnews on Sunday, with complete start-to-finish coverage from the race.
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