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Quick Step Tests the Arenberg Cobbles
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 4/7/2006
Quick Step Tests the Arenberg Cobbles

Quick Step Tests the Arenberg Cobbles
Tom Boonen and the Quick Step/Innergetic Team did a morning reconnaissance and training ride on to the cobbles of the Arenberg today.  Sunday's Paris - Roubaix. Team Roster and Photos of the ride.

The team's schedule chose the “Sectuer pave” Trouée d’Aremberg (sectuer pave 17) to Secteur pave Cysoing à Bourghelles (n. 6) in an mid morning team ride. The ride was anticipated by some fans who lined sections of the climb to see Quick Steps favored rider Tom Boonen and other teams checking out the condition of the cobbles pre race.

the Arenberg Forest 'Pave'   photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

The teams schedule chose the “Sectuer pave” Trouée d’Aremberg (sectuer pave 17) to Secteur pave Cysoing à Bourghelles (n. 6). This section of the course is the most selective, and the rider's strategy that moves him and his team to the front will secure the opportunity for a victory. It isn't just the brutality of the pave that makes the selection, combined the pave with the narrow course of the cobbles with a peloton of 200 riders compressed into a single lane. The peloton compresses through the Arenberg and the last through rarely recover the riders who escape from the front.

Tom Boonen flanked by the cycling "moto-paparazzi"
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Small crowds of fans line the Arenberg pave to glimpse the riders reconnoitering the course in preparation for a Sunday in Hell. Luckily they see the rainbow jersey of Tom Boonen in the distance and watch him concentrate on  the dance of the pave.

Quick Step fields again a strong and capable classic and pave specialists group to support their Pro Tour leader and World Champion Super Tom Boonen. Filippo Pozzato of Italy and the recent winner of Milan San Remo is only one of Boonen's assets; the Quick Step squad also has well known hard men; Van Impe, Nick Nuyens, Servais Knaven, Hulsman and De Jongh. An armada of talent to challenge for domination in the rush to the cobble sections an beyond in this "Queen of the Classics."

Quick Step/Innergetic Roster for Sunday:
Tom Boonen
Wilfried Cretskens
Steven De Jongh
Kevin Hulsmans
Servais Knaven
Nick Nuyens
Filippo Pozzato
Kevin Van Impe.
Sporting Director: Wilfried Peeters

photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Filippo "Pippo" Pozzato Milan San Remo winner tests the Pave
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

Pro Tour Current Standings
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic 89 pts BEL QSI 89
2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 72 ITA MIL 72
3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 70 ITA QSI 70

4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 70 ITA LAM 70
5 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 60 USA DIS 60
6 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 52 USA PHO 52
7 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 51 NED RAB 51
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 44 NOR CRA 44
9 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Fondital 43 ESP LAM 43
10 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 42 BEL DIS 42

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