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Editors’ Picks: Who will win Paris-Roubaix?

Here are our expert picks for the Hell of the North, the Queen of the Classics — Paris-Roubaix.

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Here are our rapid-fire predictions for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. The VeloNews editorial staff will make predictions for major races throughout the season.

John Bradley, editor in chief
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

He won’t let any dangerous moves go the way he did at Flanders. And the way he flew past the field on the Kwaremont when he finally tried to bridge up shows he’s got the legs. I don’t think Roubaix will give Sagan the opportunities that the hills of Flanders did. Van Avermaet and Degenkolb are out. Boonen doesn’t seem to be back on form. Kristoff and Vanmarcke will make things difficult. But I think that in this field, with Cancellara on this form, he’s the guy to beat.

Spencer Powlison, news director
Pick: Zdenek Stybar

My money is on a three-time cyclocross world champ, considering that the forecast for the weekend looks rainy. If that doesn’t pan out, Etixx is such a strong, deep team that when (not if) Styby attacks, he’ll have his boys watching the chase.

Chris Case, managing editor
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

What was it that the great orator George W. Bush once said? “Fool me once, shame on… shame on you? Fool me… you can’t get fooled again.” Like Bush, Cancellara speaks a deceptively crafty form of English. He won’t be fooled again and won’t miss that crucial move, but will instead blow up the field like a WMD.

Caley Fretz, senior editor
Pick: Sep Vanmarcke

He was close at Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix suits him even better.

Andrew Hood, European correspondent
Pick: Tom Boonen

Going with the heart-strings here. I think Boonen’s been playing possum a little bit, riding into form, and will surprise many Sunday. Here’s how I see Boonen’s ideal scenario: He wins a record fifth time, and makes retirement speech on the podium — how’s that for an exit?

Dan Cavallari, tech editor
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

I think Sagan is a real threat to win as well, but Cancellara has something to prove now (as if he didn’t before, right?) since he missed the crucial moment to beat Sagan in Flanders.

Kristen Legan, associate editor
Pick: Peter Sagan

How rad would it be to see the rainbow stripes get the double with Flanders and Roubaix? I don’t actually think he’s going to be the first across the line this weekend but I’m willing to bet on him here just so I can cheer 100 percent for Sags and nobody else on Sunday.

Gregor Brown, reporter
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

Paris-Roubaix is his swansong even if he has the remainder of 2016 ahead of him. The desire to win his last major outing in his long career, plus the obvious strength showed in Flanders, will give him that extra edge needed to top rivals like Sep Vanmarcke, Tom Boonen, and Luke Rowe.

Dane Cash, web editor and reporter
Pick: Fabian Cancellara

Three-time winner Fabian Cancellara looks to be carrying plenty of form into his final appearance at Paris-Roubaix, a race that suits him perfectly. Peter Sagan’s Gent-Wevelgem and Tour of Flanders wins certainly count for something, but he has yet to find much success at Paris-Roubaix. The reigning world road champ won’t be able to show off his punchy climbing skills on a pan-flat profile that is more favorable to the massive engine of four-time world time trial champ Cancellara.