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COMPIÈGNE, France (VN) – The 22-year-old American road champion Ben King will start Paris-Roubaix for the first time as a professional Sunday. Joining him on the RadioShack squad will be fellow American Bjørn Selander and King’s former Trek-Livestrong teammate Jesse Sergent.
King raced Scheldeprijs Wednesday and the Grand Prix Pino Cerami Thursday under unseasonably warm conditions.
“I’m happy with some of my first races in Belgium, I couldn’t ask for better racing,” King said at Scheldeprijs. “I did some stuff here as a junior, and very few under-23 races. It was a good learning experience for me. We have some younger riders here, but also some experiences riders like Robbie (McEwen) and (Sébastien) Rosseler.”
Selander will be starting his second Paris-Roubaix, and is hoping for better luck than he had in 2010.
“I am feeling pretty excited,” Selander said. “I would really like to get in an early break and go from there. Last year I crashed right before Arenberg, broke my bike and hurt my knee, so I wasn’t able to finish. This year I hope it will be better.”
Kiwi Jesse Sergent, who recently scored his second world silver medal at the individual pursuit in late March, will be suiting up Sunday with King and Selander.
Sergent raced the under-23 Paris-Roubaix last year, helping then-teammate Taylor Phinney score his second consecutive win. There was a Ben King racing with him that day, but it was the Australian Ben King and not the American of the same name who drove the break to set up Phinney and ultimately finish sixth.
Joining King, Selander and Sergent at Roubaix for RadioShack will be Fumiyuki Beppu, McEwen, Nélson Oliveira, Gregory Rast and Rosseler.