Photos taken today. Courtesy
Johan Museeuw's website says that Johan, Knaven, Boonen and Zanini will be
riding new, special bikes tomorrow that are 2 centimeters longer. The rest of
the team will be using a special fork that is more bowed and is 25 mm thick...
Boonen: "It would not be shrewd to bet everything on only one man....
Paris-Roubaix is one of the my favorite races."
After a last reconnaissance of the hell of the North, Peter van Petegem is confident.
Last year's winner
hopes to play an important role again in the race, "But to win, it is never
obvious," he said. Over my twelve professional, twice I have won a World Cup
race. The past year was extraordinary with two
important victories. But the luck to win is always smaller than the luck to
As for the other favored contender, van Petegem says, "Museeuw
won't receive a gift. There is no room for sentiment. If he attacks, I will jump
onto his wheel."
Saeco's Pieri and company trained for 90km through the Arrenberg
The RAGT Semences-MG
Rover team will be riding alongside all the major World Cup armadas, even
though everyone knows that the team is not particularly built for this
type of event. The team's Paris-Roubaix riders toughened up
in the GP Pino Cérami, with the exception of Seigneur, Buffaz and Thibout, who
were at the Circuit de la Sarthe, and on Friday, the team rode the cobbled stretches of Troisville and
For Paris-Roubaix, RAGT Semences-MG Rover will be kitted
out as follows:
Vélo Look K X Light
Hutchinson 25 and 28 tyres
32-spoke wheels (DT Swiss)
Flat rims (Fir / Shimano France)
Four questions put to RAGT DS Jean-Luc Jonrond
Isn’t it a little bit frustrating for RAGT Semences - MG
Rover not to be taking part in the two World Cups of the season in spite of
their being a
J-L J: In relation to the ICU points we have, we can’t complain. We’re already
lucky to be taken on for Paris - Roubaix and to run the Paris -Tours at the end
the season. In previous years with Delatour, we had enough points but we were
absent from the major World Cup events. RAGT Semences - MG Rover is in the
process of being built. We’re taking a long-term view for the team, aiming to
increase recruitment in the year ahead. The essence of the whole thing resides
power of the riders. So let’s be reasonable to start with and not overdo things
from the start. Let’s not be too big for our boots!
What is your objective for the Paris- Roubaix race, in so far as you know that
you cannot really hope to win?
J-L.J.: What we’re really aiming for, of course, is to win. But in each race,
there are phases of strategy, with possible openings where riders can break
put paid to the "big" riders' best-laid plans. For that matter, each of our riders has instructions to aim for the morning break
away. Firstly because we have to be worthy of taking part. Secondly because it
easier to approach the first cobbled sections in a small group than in the midst
of a peloton. Each of us is fully convinced that this is the best approach to
the race. The
message is clear. And of course, the Paris-Roubaix is the Paris-Roubaix after
Do you mean by that - that it is a rather special race?
J-L.J.: Absolutely. You’d need to be completely unaware of cycling altogether
not to know about it. There is a higher chance factor in this race than with any
There’s a lot of gear failure and the slightest set-back which can’t be dealt
with straight away puts the rider to the back of the pack. As far as we’re
breakdown car is number 20, so a long way down the line. We just have to hope
that the gear will not let us down and that there won’t be any serious fall.
No one can tell how a race is going to turn out, even if it will basically be
played out between the "big" World Cup riders. It’s going to be a hard slog and we’ll
suffer. But it
is also one of those races where seizing the right opportunity can pay off.
What has been the nicest surprise at the start of the season for you with regard
to your riders?
J-L.J.: Undeniably, Yoann Le Boulanger, who seems to be breaking through. In
spite of everything, he’ll not be taking part in the Paris-Roubaix as it’s not
his sort of
race. And then there’s Roman Luhovyy, sound physically and mentally and who will
soon come through as an excellent sprinter. He’ll be on the starting line with
instructions to do the best he can without any particular pressure. Both riders
are in search of ICU points.
RAGT-Semences rider review for Paris-Roubaix
G. Auger - R Dion - C. Laurent - M.
Buffaz - R. Luhovyy - K. Mutschler – E. Seigneur – B. Thibout.
G. Auger: Gifted when it comes to big raids, he might well be
among those who break away in the morning (preparation on the GP Pino Cérami).
R. Dion: Our newly-turned pro is setting out to discover what this is all
about. As with the other riders, his instructions are to be vigilant from the
on the GP Pino Cérami).
C. Laurent: He has the advantage of having already competed in the event.
Having taken part in cyclo-cross events should help him pull through
the GP Pino Cérami).
M. Buffaz: First timer just like Dion (preparation on the Circuit de la Sarthe).
R. Luhovyy: Newly-turned professional, he has a sound engine. A courageous
rider, he is capable of surprising us (preparation on the GP Pino Cérami).
K. Mutschler: First timer. Got over his health problems last week. His courage
will help him through (preparation on the GP Pino Cérami).
E. Seigneur: He has been part of the winning team on three occasions (twice
with Duclos-Lassalle, once with Guesdon). Particularly at ease on this race –
captain and leader (preparation on the Circuit de la Sarthe).
B. Thibout: Àt ease this week for the for getting back into the Coupe de
France, his experience will be precious (preparation on the Circuit de la Sarthe).
"We have a racer who is most suited to Sunday. And that is
Steven de Jongh. Other boys such as Marc Wauters and Robert Hunter perform much
better on dry parcours," say DS Adri van Houwelingen of Rabobank. We
saw that last year - on a dry course, Wauters came in 4th, only 15 seconds off
Without Freire, Boogerd and Dekker, none of whom will ride P-R,
the big man is Wauters. He is not however the leader. Wauters can go at
his own pace, I don't want him called "the head man," says Van
Houwelingen," I think that we are more of a collective will than an
individual rider. It is not so that there seven racers in service of Wauters. He
gets good protection. But the protection will not be so great that many of the
team must sacrifice themselves."
The team hopes that several riders will be in front at the
finish, says van Houwelingen - "not only Wauters, but Hauptmann and Hunter, and
Bartko if he goes well. Paris-Roubaix is quite an open book."
Marc Wauters: "I would like to finish on the podium, I know the
race like the back of my hand."
Thor Hushovd's website: When we saw one Crédit Agricole jersey
- only one, unfortunately - in the finale of the Tour of Flanders, it was
obvious that Thor was competing among the best classic riders in the world.
confirmed it with this message: "I felt strong the whole day but I blew with
20km to go. It's too bad but it was a hard race. I'll try again next Sunday." He
means: Paris-Roubaix. For a rider in a French team, especially the team that
used to win the "Queen of the Classics" with Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle a little
more than 10 years ago, it's going to be a very crucial day in a year of
cycling. Thor finished 38th in the Tour of Flanders, only 2 min 10 sec behind
the winner, Steffen Wesemann.
Despite his disappointment with Flanders, Credit Agricole brings
Thor the Thunder God as team leader. The team has done well so far this season -
consistent high placings by Hushovd and Julian Dean in Criterium International,
Paris-Nice, Cholet Pays De Loire, and Tirreno-Adriatico, and Geoffroy Lequatre
took a very respectable 15th last weekend at GP de Rennes.
Hans Michael Holzer's team goes to the
with a mixture of respect and fascination: "Absolutely, we have no
favorite in our team. A
successful day for us would be rather be the product of as few possibles falls
and defects. He says, "For Sunday, Michael Rich and Marco Serpellini will
hopefully play a role in the final: They
both have ridden here very well already, so we will see who things go on Easter
New papa Olaf Pollack, after a training ride said, "Pains in the legs? Dripping wet tricot?
Cold as a dog?
I felt nothing of it. In my head, all I could see were pictures of the other
day, the distraction was great..."
The Phonak team is definitely bouyed by Tyler Hamilton's
excellent time trial performance in Lazkao yesterday at the conclusion of the
Vuelta al Pais Vasco. That's good, because the wounds that Nicolas Jalabert underwent during his
fall during Gent-Wevelgem Wednesday force him to rest for several weeks. The first examinations showed that the French suffered from a fracture of
the right shoulder blade. If things go well, Jalabert can hope for a return at
the beginning of May. In addition to Jalabert, Marco Fertonani has a fracture of the hand, Daniele Bennati a viral infection and Cyril Dessel an Achilles tendon problem.
Gregory Rast, 24 years old and the 2002 Swiss U23 champion, is
one of the Phonak team riding tomorrow's Queen of the Classics. Last year he
rode Paris-Roubaix and finished 47th. Here are his thought about tomorrow.
What is the most difficult thing about the race?
A rider needs power and more power for it. If it's not there for you
anymore, then things begin to fall apart.
Now you are starting as a helper?
I hope to be able to carry out this task as expected. Among our crew,
only Bert Grabsch and Martin Elmiger should be in the position to keep up with
the leaders. As a predestined time rider on the pavé sections, Grabsch is
favoured. He also dominates the position when riding at the front of the field.
Even Elmiger is pretty good. He will have his own chances with Oscar Camenzind
Who are your favourites?
Peter Van Petegem could repeat his win from last year. I
also consider Dario Pieri and Johan Museeuw to be dangerous. In
weighing the chances, you have to consider that the race's lottery character is
Ludovic Capelle trained Friday more than 200km and experienced little
if no embarrassment after his "fall party" at the GP Cerami. The same with Geert Van
Bondt - no harm done after his fall at Gent-Wevelgem. Both will start
After his impressive eight place in last week's Tour of Flanders, Team CSC's
Frank Høj aims for yet another big result in the 102nd edition of Paris-Roubaix,
while Tristan Hoffman and neo-pro Vladimir Gusev will be among the outsiders, as
they both did well in Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem.
Italian Michele Bartoli hopes to retaliate after a disappointing performance at
Flanders, even though he has never before had a result at Paris-Roubaix.
“I've talked to Ballerini about how to ride this particular race, and obviously
I'm no stranger to the cobblestones. I believe I'm in good shape, but you never
really know that, until the final part of a big race like Paris-Roubaix,”
Bartoli said during Saturday's Team CSC press conference.
"I am really moved," said 24 year old Eric Baumann, after T-Mobile Manager
Walter Godefroot appointed him to the Paris Roubaix team after Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem.
The closer the start date comes, the more tingly I get. I will work for our
captains as hard as I can."
Stefen Wesseman, winner of last Sunday's Tour of Flanders, says, "I
have stabilized my form. I know the ticklish areas on the 50 km long cobblestone
stretches almost by heart."
Sport Director Mario Kummer says, "Paris-Roubaix is completely unique,
however we have prepared optimally." Godefroot adds, "Everything is in order.
With Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, we have proven that we can have an
influence on each race. We will also show that on Sunday."
Steffen Wesemann: "The double - Flanders - Paris Roubaix, it is only for
the greatest. I didn't celebrate my victory too much after the Flanders..."
Frank Vandenbroucke: "I hope it rains. Then, the speed will be less. I want to win this test once."
Paris Roubaix Start List
(The official startlist plus amendments according to teams' information)
1 VAN PETEGEM Peter BEL
2 DE CLERCQ Hans BEL
3 HOSTE Leif BEL
4 MARICHAL Thierry BEL
5 STEEGMANS Gert BEL
6 VAN BON Leon NED
7 VANSEVENANT Wim BEL
8 VIERHOUTEN Aart NED
11 PIERI Dario ITA
12 BALDUCCI Gabriele ITA
13 BONOMI Giosuè ITA
14 CASAGRANDA Stefano ITA
15 COMMESSO Salvatore ITA
16 FORNACIARI Paolo ITA
17 GAVAZZI Nicola ITA
18 LUDEWIG Jorg GER
21 WESEMANN Steffen GER
22 ALDAG Rolf GER
23 BAUMANN Eric GER
24 IVANOV Serguei RUS
25 KLIER Andreas GER
26 NARDELLO Daniele ITA
27 SCHAFFRATH Jan GER
28 SCHRECK Stephan GER
31 VANDENBROUCKE Frank BEL
32 CANCELLARA Fabian SUI
33 CHICHI Francesco ITA
34 FLECHA Juan Antonio ESP
35 ONGARATO Alberto ITA
38 TOSATTO Matteo ITA
41 WAUTERS Marc BEL
42 BARTKO Robert GER
43 BOVEN Jan NED
44 DE JONGH Steven NED
45 DEN BAKKER Maarten NED
46 HUNTER Robert RSA
47 SENTJENS Roy NED
48 TRAKSEL Bobbie NED
US Postal-Berry Floor
61 HINCAPIE George USA
62 CRUZ Antonio USA
63 DEVOLDER Stijn BEL
64 JOACHIM Benoit LUX
65 LANDIS Floyd USA
66 PADRNOS Pavel CZE
67 PENA Victor Hugo COL
68 VAN HEESWIJK Max NED
71 MUSEEUW Johan BEL
72 BODROGI Laszlo HUN
73 BOONEN Tom BEL
74 CRETSKENS Wilfried BEL
75 HORRILLO Pedro ESP
76 HULSMANS Kevin BEL
77 KNAVEN Servais NED
78 ZANINI Stefano ITA
Phonak Hearing Systems
81 USOV Alexandre BLR
82 ALBASINI Michael SUI
83 ELMIGER Martin SUI
84 GRABSCH Bert GER
86 MURN Uros SLO
87 RAST Gregory SUI
92 FÖRSTER Robert GER
94 KRAUSS Sven GER
95 LANG Sebastian GER
96 POLLACK Olaf GER
97 RICH Michael GER
98 STRAUSS Marcel SUI
Chocolade Jacques Wincor
101 PEERS Chris BEL
102 ABAKOUMOV Igor BEL
103 CAPPELLE Andy BEL
104 GADRET John FRA
105 HIEMSTRA Bert NED
106 KOERTS Jans NED
107 LÖWIK Gerben NED
108 VOSKAMP Bart NED
111 TAFI Andrea ITA
112 BACKSTEDT Magnus SWE
113 BALDATO Fabio ITA
114 HVASTIJA Martin SLO
115 LJUNGQUIST Marcus SWE
116 SUNDERLAND Scott AUS
121 SCIANDRI Maximilian GBR
122 BARTOLI Michele ITA
123 CHRISTENSEN Bekim DEN
124 ERIKSEN Thomas DEN
125 GUSEV Vladimir RUS
126 HOFFMAN Tristan NED
127 HOJ Frank DEN
128 MICHAELSEN Lars DEN
Brioches la Boulangere
131 ROUS Didier FRA
132 BELOKI Gorka ESP
133 CHAVANEL Sébastien FRA
134 GESLIN Anthony FRA
135 MARTIAS Rony FRA
136 RENIER Franck FRA
137 VOECKLER Thomas FRA
138 YUS Unai ESP
Illes Balears - Banesto Santander
141 BECKE Daniel GER
142 COLOM Antonio ESP
143 GALVEZ Isaac ESP
145 LASTRAS Pablo ESP
146 LOPEZ José Antonio ESP
147 RADOCHLA Steffen GER
151 BARANOWSKI Dariusz POL
152 ANDRLE René CZE
153 BARREDO Carlos ESP
154 DAVIS Allan AUS
155 DIAZ Rafael ESP
156 SANCHEZ Luis ESP
161 GUESDON Frédéric FRA
162 DEREPAS David FRA
163 EISEL Bernhard AUT
164 MENGIN Christophe FRA
165 MOUREY Francis FRA
166 ROY Jérémy FRA
167 VAUGRENARD Benoît FRA
168 WILSON Matthew AUS
171 PLANCKAERT Jo BEL
172 DE SMET Andy BEL
173 HAMMOND Roger GBR
174 HUNT Jérémy GBR
175 OMLOOP Geert BEL
176 THIJS Erwin BEL
177 TROUVE Kristof BEL
178 VAN HAECKE Michel BEL
181 KIRSIPUU Jaan EST
182 AGNOLUTTO Christophe FRA
183 BERGES Stéphane FRA
184 FLICKINGER Andy FRA
185 INAUDI Nicolas FRA
186 NAZON Jean-Patrick FRA
187 PORTAL Nicolas FRA
188 PÜTSEP Erki EST
191 DIERCKXSENS Ludo BEL
192 BERNUCCI Lorenzo ITA
193 BRACKE Tony BEL
194 CAPELLE Ludovic BEL
195 DURAND Jacky FRA
196 STREEL Marc BEL
197 VAN BONDT Geert BEL
198 VERSTREPEN Johan BEL
201 HUSHOVD Thor NOR
202 DEAN Julian NZL
203 HERVE Cédric FRA
204 HINAULT Sébastien FRA
205 JEGOU Lilian FRA
206 KAGGESTAD Mads NOR
207 LEQUATRE Geoffroy FRA
208 WIGGINS Bradley GBR
211 BORTOLAMI Gianluca ITA
212 BALLAN Alessandro ITA
213 BOSSONI Paolo ITA
214 CARRARA Matteo ITA
215 CORTINOVIS Alessandro ITA
216 HAUPTMAN Andrej SLO
217 QUINZIATO Manuel ITA
218 VAINSTEINS Romans LAT
221 ANDRESEN Allan Bo DEN
222 BAK Lars DEN
223 BLIJLEVENS Jeroen NED
224 JOHANSEN Allan DEN
226 VAN DER VEN Remco NED
227 VAN DER WAL Eelke NED
228 VAN DULMEN Frank NED
R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover
231 SEIGNEUR Eddy FRA
232 AUGER Guillaume FRA
233 BUFFAZ Mickaël FRA
234 DION Renaud FRA
235 LAURENT Christophe FRA
236 LUHOVYY Roman UKR
237 MUTSCHLER Klaus GER
238 THIBOUT Bruno FRA
242 BAZHENOV Alexandr RUS
243 CLINGER David USA
244 DERGANC Martin SLO
245 FAILLI Francesco ITA
246 FISCHER Murilo Antonio BRA
248 NAUDUZS Andris LAT