Paris-Roubaix: Knaven goes for sweet sixteen
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Paris-Roubaix: Knaven goes for sweet sixteen

by VeloNation Press at 11:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
 

Servais KnavenDutchman Servais Knaven will take the start of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix with the chance of equaling the record of 16 finishes in the race held by Belgian Raymond Impanis.  Knaven won the race in 2001 while riding in the service of his then teammate Johan Museeuw, but this time around he will serve as a mentor for his Milram team, admitting the record is secondary.

"Of course I want to cross the finish line in the velodrome of Roubaix.  I would be very proud.  But that is not the most important thing," said Knaven about riding in his favorite race this Sunday. "It is more important that we have a good performance as a team and that one of our riders finishes as far forward as possible."

The first Paris-Roubaix was run in 1896, and its infamous cobbled sectors make the "Hell of the North" as unpredictable as it is difficult.  The race is so challenging that simply finishing in the Roubaix velodrome is a badge of honor for a professional cyclist, even for the rider that finishes in last place.

Knaven's accomplishment is even more impressive when looking at his track record. He has finished Paris-Roubaix each time he has started and, if he finishes on Sunday, he will be the only rider to finish the race 16 times in 16 starts.

This year's edition of the race will be contested over 259 kilometers from its start in Compiegne to the finish at the famous velodrome in Roubaix.

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