2004 Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt reported back
on his beloved pavé, that everything is on track for the 'Hell of the North' on
Backstedt was accompanied by a group of young American riders
from the Belgian based Cycling Center Team. He spent the day training on the
route for the race and giving the youngsters a lesson in riding the cobbles. "I
decided that Arenberg section would be the best section to test out how my
shoulder is holding up. I've been treated by a new physio in London who has done
wonders it. Unfortunately the bikes I was hoping to test didn't arrive, but at
least I know my shoulder is fine. I was slightly worried that I was going to get
on the cobblestones and I was not going to be able to cope with them. I hit
Arenberg at full gas with no pain other than the usual sensations you get from
riding them, but I love that feeling so I was like a kid on Christmas morning"
Backstedt said. 21 Year- old Cycling Center rider Santiago Roussell said,
"Seeing Paris Roubaix on television does not do it justice. To be taught
how to ride the pave by Magnus was just so inspiring for all the guys here"
The big Swede then continued from Arenberg taking in Wallers
and Hornang among others, before calling it a good day in Orchies. He then
spent the rest of the week training over the famous Belgian climbs that make up
the Tour of Flanders even though this is not on his programme. "I needed a day
like that on the stones! I'm now ready for the second Sunday in April. I start
racing next week in the Castilla y Leon, then the Settimana Bergamasca and
Circuit de la Sarthe before heading up to Roubaix.
The team and myself have taken the conscious decision to stay away from Flanders
and the other cobbled classics to give me a full crack at my race" Backstedt