Amid the hubbub of the Paris-Roubaix teams presentation Saturday afternoon in Compiegne, VeloNews stopped defending champion — and heavy pre-race favorite — Tom Boonen for one simple question:
Given that Roubaix is the harshest of the classics, and with all the pressure that comes as a three-time winner, is it still possible to have fun out on the cobbles?
His answer may come as a surprise to some.
“The most important thing about riding a bike is to enjoy it,” he said. “Even if it’s a classic. I think we were a bit lucky in the last few weeks with the races we saw. Even Milan-San Remo, which is a really boring race, it was fun, it was really fun and a hard race. Flanders was extraordinary, and I hope to have another day like that tomorrow. If you have a big battle between big champions, all you can do is try to enjoy it.”