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106th Hell of the North - Pre Riding the Cobbles
By Staff
Date: 4/13/2008
106th Hell of the North - Pre Riding the Cobbles

Hell of the North - Pre Riding the Cobbles
Team Comments Photos of the pre-race ride of the cobbles. Silence/Lotto Ridley XFire Roubaix bike.

High Road Poised to Strike Hard in the Hell of the North
High Road is ready to strike hard in Paris-Roubaix this Sunday. “We’ve got riders like [Bernhard] Eisel, [Andreas] Klier, [Roger] Hammond and [George] Hincapie who are born to ride the cobblestones.” sports director Brian Holm said. “People seem to have forgotten but Servais Knaven is a former winner of Paris-Roubaix [in 2001]. Maybe he’s no longer in his prime as a bike rider, but he’s pretty close to it.”

“I can safely say, too, that Andreas [Klier] is in the form of his life. He did a very strong ride in Flanders, and only lacked a little luck to finish in the top five.”

“Roger [Hammond] will be sure to do a good ride in Roubaix. Ok, he may have bad luck or a crash or something, but barring that he’ll be up there. He’s always really motivated for this race, come what may.”

“George [Hincapie] is our biggest weapon. You could see when he climbed the Kemmel that easily on Wednesday [in Ghent-Wevelgem] how good his form is. We’re very confident about his chances.”

“So we have a team with a lot of really talented riders for Roubaix and that’s great because it’s a race where you need lots of options. Your strategy has to change in a second because so many things happen very fast and a lot of the time it’s not where the cameras are.”

“Last year Marcus [Burghardt] collided with a motorbike and smashed his bike up. But he still finished twentieth. And both Roger [seventh in last year’s Roubaix] and Andreas punctured early on and spent a lot of the day chasing groups.”

“All we need is a bit of luck, because luck is a key factor in Roubaix. I always spend the whole of the race with my fingers crossed, hoping that nobody will puncture at the wrong moment or crash. It’s an incredibly tense race.”

High Road for Paris-Roubaix: Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Bert Grabsch (Ger), Roger Hammond (GB),
George Hincapie (USA), Andreas Klier (Ger), Servais Knaven (Hol), Vicente Reynes (Spa), Marcel
Sieberg (Ger).

Alessandro Ballan, Danilo Napolitano and Fornaciari.   Photo © Yoni Peeters

Ballan Lampre Captain
All is ready in Lampre in view of Paris-Roubaix. Friday blue-fucsia athletes trained on toughest cobblestones sectors (Arenberg included, in photo) covering 80 kms during 3 hours: it was all right, except for some punctures.

Ballan will be Lampre’s captain, supported by Bandiera, Baldato, Bossoni, Fornaciari, Mori, Murro and Napolitano. “I feel good, I’m ready for a great race," Ballan explained, "The consequences of my 'Flandres’ fall have gone away, I pedal in a perfect way and my condition is near the top”.

Stijn Devolder - Quick Step  Photo © Yoni Peeters

Tinkoff Credit Systems
Prepared for Debut in the Hell of the North
On Sunday, 13 April, the 106th edition of Paris-Roubaix marks the debut of the Tinkoff team in one of cycling's monument events. Sport Director Orlando Maini commented, "race conditions depend on many factors, one of the most important, of course, is the weather, however, the Tinkoff team feels it an obligation to display our talents to the utmost of our ability."

The Tinkoff Paris-Roubaix roster includes, Pavel Brutt, Ilya Chernetsky, Nikita Eskov, Alexander Gottfried, Mihkail Ignatiev, Alberto Loddo, Bernardo Riccio, and Alexander Serov all of whom are in good condition and will be alert to race in a clever manner. "We know our riders are in good condition, however, we do not have a reference point against which to gauge ourselves as this is our first time racing this prestigious event, and we are here not just to animate the race, but to exhibit the talent of our team."

Quick Step

Stijn Devolder & Wouter Weylandt            Photo © Yoni Peeters

Matteo Tosatto & Kevin Hulsmans         Photo © Yoni Peeters

Wilfried Cretskens & Steven de Jongh   Photo © Yoni Peeters

Tom Boonen          Photo © Yoni Peeters

Silence-Lotto to start Sunday with a special bike
The X-Fire Roubaix

The Silence-Lotto team will ride Paris-Roubaix with a new development made by Ridley, the X-fire Roubaix. Ridley has been for four years the cycle partner of Silence-Lotto. Their collaboration with our riders and mechanics led to the creation of new Ridley models, the Noah and Helium. Ridley introduces a special bike for Paris-Roubaix, in exclusivity for Silence-Lotto, the result of their close collaboration with our riders and mechanics.

Ridley is since the year 2000 active in the cross world. They have used the of this discipline for the realization of the X-fire Roubaix. The X-fire is the bike with which Niels Albert won this year's U23 World title. Concretely, following details have been included:

For the comfort:
* Arched front fork with 45 mm castor
* Longer wheelbase
* Saddle pen with biposition
* Bigger Vredestein tubulars:
25mm tubulars offer better comfort and absorb better the irregularities. The rolling surface offers extra grip on the wet. The tubulars are extremely flexible and shock absorbing. The inner tube made of 100% medical latex, which practically excludes any possibility of piercing and flat.

X-fire Roubaix

For the control:
* Adapted fork angle
* The longer wheelbase gives better stability and maneuverability

For the mud:
* More room for the Vredestein tubulars in the front and rear forks
* Normal brake at the front, cross brake at the rear


Pozzato and Quinziato Photo © Yoni Peeters

Liquigas rides the crest of the cobble path. Photo © Yoni Peeters


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