HTC-Highroad confident in debutants and underdogs for Paris-Roubaix
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

HTC-Highroad confident in debutants and underdogs for Paris-Roubaix

by Ben Atkins at 2:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Team hoping to continue run of outsiders’ victories in this season’s monuments

matt gossHTC-Highroad is taking a strong team to what it hopes will be a fast Paris-Roubaix this Sunday. While the American doesn’t possess a strong favourite for the race it is hoping that the run of victories by outsiders in the sport’s monument this season continues.

"We've got three outsiders for this race," said HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper, “Mark Cavendish, Bernie Eisel and Matt Goss, but we've seen so far this year that the outside favorites have been doing really well.

"Matt wasn't a favourite at Milan-San Remo and he won it, and in the Tour of Flanders last week two outsiders came first and second, so who knows if that couldn't happen again on Sunday?”

Of the three riders Eisel has the most consistent record in l’Enfer du Nord, with a fifth place in 2006 his best result in the race, while it will be Cavendish’s first ever appearance at the race.

"I think most teams realize they can't wait for too long because they won't have such a big chance, which means they want an open race."

"The weather is going to be warm and dry, so Paris-Roubaix will be a fast course. And then they've added in a new cobbled section after the tough one through Arenberg Forest which will make it much harder for the bunch to regroup."

"My feeling is it'll be anything but predictable."

Although Cavendish will be a Roubaix debutant, the Manx sprinter is just coming into form at the right time, as his third victory in the Scheldeprijs this week shows.

"He had a good ride in Flanders,” said Peiper, “and after winning yesterday he's obviously in good shape."

"He'll be looking after Bernie Eisel as best he can, but he ticks a lot of boxes to make a good Roubaix rider in his own right, too."

HTC-Highroad for Paris-Roubaix:
Lars Bak, Matthew Brammeier, Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb, Bernhard Eisel, Matthew Goss, Alex Rasmussen and Gatis Smukulis


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