Roelandts psyched for Paris-Roubaix after strong third in Tour of Flanders
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Friday, April 05, 2013

Roelandts psyched for Paris-Roubaix after strong third in Tour of Flanders

by Shane Stokes at 5:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
 
‘This is my final goal of the first part of the season and I am still very motivated’

Jurgen RoelandtsConfidence on a high after a superb – and somewhat unexpected – third place in last weekend’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, Jurgen Roelandts has said he will rely on his instinct as to where to attack in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

The Lotto Belisol rider is confident that the race could work out even better for him than Flanders, and is focussed on performing as well as possible over the 27 cobblestone sections in the Hell of the North.

“Paris-Roubaix suits me even better than the Ronde,” he insists. “It’s more technical and more people get dropped during the whole course of the race. The race is more difficult to control, because there are always many different groups.

“In the “Ronde” the whole team was good. We can go to Paris-Roubaix with a lot of trust…my third place has given us an extra boost. This is my final goal of the first part of the season and I am still very motivated.”

Sixth in the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem and second in the 2011 E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke, Roelandts clocked up several important results last year despite fracturing the C6 vertebra in his neck in the Santos Tour Down Under.

He won the Tour de l’Eurometropole, took a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg, was third in the Ster ZLM Toer and seventh in the Olympic road race.

His good performances continued earlier this year when he won a stage and was seventh overall in the Tour of the Mediterranean, then went on to net eighth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Last Sunday he surged clear on the second ascent of the Paterberg, pushed forward with Yoann Offredo (FDJ), Sebastian Hinault (IAM Cycling), and Sebastian Turgot (Europcar). He then upped the pace and went solo on the Oude Kwaremont, leading the race before being caught by Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

Cancellara went clear on the final climb and soloed to victory, while Roelandts finished third to Sagan at the finish.

Sagan will miss Roubaix but last Sunday’s winner will be present and will be the top favourite for many people. Roelandts sees that as being the case as well. “Like in the Tour of Flanders my plan is to anticipate an attack of Fabian Cancellara. He’s difficult to beat if he doesn’t have any bad luck or makes tactical mistakes,” he said.

“It’s our job to let him make those mistakes. We’ll see if the other riders will give me less space after my raid of Sunday, but I won’t wait. In the Tour of Flanders there was only one place that was perfect for an attack, in Roubaix it’s waiting to see where it will be possible. There you have to trust on your instinct.”


Lotto Belisol for Paris-Roubaix
: Lars Bak, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, André Greipel, Greg Henderson, Vicente Reynes, Jürgen Roelandts and Marcel Sieberg.

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