|Team CSC Ready for the 'Hell of the North'
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 made 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.
Dry roads are expected on Sunday and pre-race favourites include the winner of Tour of Flanders, German Steffen Wesemann of T-Mobile, Quick Step's experienced Johan Museeuw, who rides his last Paris-Roubaix, American George Hincapie of US Postal, who won the Driedaagse van De Panne, last year's winner of Paris-Roubaix, Peter van Petegem, and his team mate at Lotto-Domo, Leon van Bon.
Among the outsiders we find: Dario Pieri (Saeco), Magnus Bäckstedt (Alessio-Bianchi), Romans Vainsteins (Lampre), Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile), Andreas Klier (T-Mobile), Frank Vandenbroucke (Fassa Bortolo), Marc Wauters (Rabobank), Max van Heeswijk (US Postal), Tom Boonen (Quick Step), Servais Knaven (Quick Step), Frederic Guesdon (fdjeux.com), Jaan Kirsipuu (ag2r) and Ludo Dierckxsens (Landbouwkrediet).
Eurosport will begin their live-coverage from the race at 1.30pm CET.