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GENT, Belgium (VN) — Taylor Phinney is out, Mat Hayman is No. 1, and Quick-Step Floors has named Tom Boonen’s soldiers.
The top teams are confirming their Paris-Roubaix lineups, and there were a few last-minute adjustments and surprises Thursday ahead of Sunday’s “Hell of the North.” We’ll be updating this post regularly with news, rosters, and other notes from France.
Stybar okay after training crash
Of all riders, we were a bit surprised to see three-time world cyclocross champion Zdenek Stybar crash while previewing the Paris-Roubaix course. Better to have it happen on Friday than on Sunday, we suppose. Fortunately, the Czech rider, an integral part of the Quick-Step Floors team, is uninjured.
FDJ POV video on the cobbles
Looks a lot more fun on preview day than it does in the actual race …
FDJ roster: Mickaël Delage, Arnaud Démare, Jacopo Guarnieri, Daniel Hoelgaard, Ignatas Konovalovas, Mathieu Ladagnous, Olivier Le Gac, and Marc Sarreau.
Boasson Hagen leads Dimension Data
“I think it’s going to be a hard and fast race on Sunday,” said Edvald Boasson Hagen, who was fifth in last year’s Paris-Roubaix. “I’m really looking forward to it. I feel my condition has been getting better for every race I’ve done in this spring campaign. Last year was really good but I didn’t win. Now, I’m ready to try again”.
Dimension Data roster: Edvald Boasson Hagen, Bernhard Eisel, Scott Thwaites, Tyler Farrar, Nic Dougall, Ryan Gibbons, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, and Jay Thomson.
Team Sky for Roubaix
Team Sky announced its line-up for Paris-Roubaix Friday morning. The British team has never won the cobblestone classic. For this edition, it’s best cards to play are Luke Rowe, 27, riding his fifth Roubaix, and Ian Stannard, 29, the most experienced on the team who will start his eighth Roubaix Sunday.
Team Sky roster: Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Christian Knees, Gianni Moscon, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Elia Viviani, and Lukas Wisniowski.
Gallopin crashes in Thursday training
Belgian team Lotto-Soudal has precious few results to show for its efforts this cobbled classics season. The team absorbed another blow Thursday when one of its leaders, Tony Gallopin, crashed and hit his left knee, which he injured in E3 Harelbeke.
“Tony Gallopin crashed during the recon and also Jelle Wallays hit the ground. We have to wait how Tony’s knee and Jelle’s hand will cure,” sport director Herman Frison said. “Hopefully we can perform better as a team than previous races. The next days, we will determine our strategy and it’s up to us to follow that as well as possible. The past weeks, we often missed the decisive moment and we really have to avoid that on Sunday.”
Lotto-Soudal’s Paris-Roubaix team: Lars Bak, Jens Debusschere, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Nikolas Maes, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, and Jelle Wallays.
Hayman discreet but confident with bib #1
Orica-Scott brings a strong squad anchored by defending champion Mathew Hayman, who will start his 16th Roubaix donning the No. 1 bib of defending champion. Joining him will be Luke Durbridge and Jens Keukeleire, who missed the Ronde van Vlaanderen with illnesses. The team is also calling up Roubaix rookie Alexander Edmondson, 23.
“From what we saw in the last weeks, we have a strong team, and that can work to our advantage,” said Orica sport director Lorenzo Lapage.
Hayman has been discreet so far this spring, but he had a good reason: his wife gave birth to twins in January. “By the numbers, my results in the spring so far don’t say a lot, but I know the form is there,” Hayman said. “I am going to try to appreciate the day, and enjoy pinning that No. 1 bib on.”
All in for ‘Tommeke’
Quick-Step also confirmed its Roubaix Eight, a lineup that does not include Tour of Flanders winner Philippe Gilbert — who had already said he wouldn’t race. The Belgian super team brings a mix of proven winners (four-time champ Boonen and 2014 winner Niki Terpstra), experience (Matteo Trentin, Iljo Keeise and Zdenek Stybar), and youth. Tim Declercq, Yves Lampaert and Roubaix rookie Julian Vermonte have five Roubaix starts between them, while Boonen is starting his 14th edition.
Quick-Step is all-in for Boonen, with sport director Wilfried Peeters saying, “The most important thing is that the team wins, but, yes, everyone would love to see Tom win the fifth.”
Phinney won’t start
Cannondale-Drapac fans woke up Thursday to more bad news. Just a day after Sep Vanmarcke confirmed he won’t start due to a hand injury suffered at Flanders, Phinney also won’t race after still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained during a fall at Flanders.
Phinney was holding out hope of racing, but following a training ride Wednesday, the team decided it was prudent to sit out Roubaix.
“I’m frustrated. I’ve been nursing myself this whole classics season to get into these races and be with the guys,” Phinney said. “But this just happens. This happened my first season as a pro, but then I ended up having a pretty nice second part of the season.”
Without Phinney and Vanmarcke, Wouter Wippert and Paddy Bevin got call-ups. The team will rally around Dylan Van Baarle, who was fourth at Flanders last weekend.