Giant-Shimano Preview – Paris – Roubaix
The Team Giant-Shimano line-up taking on the Hell of the North on Sunday is: Nikias Arndt, Bert De Backer, Roy Curvers, John Degenkolb, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Koen De Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam and Tom Stamsnijder.
The race marks the end of the flatter classics and the end of the cobbled races. It is also the last spring classic for some riders including John Degenkolb (GER), providing extra motivation to end the campaign with a strong result.
Team Giant-Shimano heads into the race with a strong roster looking to continue playing a key part in the race much as they have done throughout the classics season so far, which boasts wins in Gent – Wevelgem and Scheldeprijs.
The team headed out for a race reconnaissance to reacquaint themselves with the route and also to fine-tune their adapted Giant Defy bikes before the big day on Sunday.
Read about the adaptions to the Giant Defy for Paris – Roubaix here.
Here’s what some of the riders had to say looking ahead to Sunday:
John Degenkolb (GER)
“Roubaix is one of the top races for me, I love how tough it is and it is a dream of mine to win this race one day.
“I like the cobbles and we have a great bike for riding them. This makes it easier and more comfortable to ride these and as a result you save energy throughout the race. We tested the Defy bikes out on the course on Thursday and made some tweaks to get the bike 100% ready – something vital Roubaix.
“I am feeling good and hope that I can have a great final classic on Sunday. We have a strong team for it and the atmosphere is great at the moment. Hopefully we can continue this strong run.”
Bert De Backer (BEL)
“I hope we can have a final like Flanders again on Sunday with at least two Team Giant-Shimano riders there helping to write the story of the race. We have strength in depth for this race and hopefully we can ride like we have done and leave our mark on this race.
“It was nice to see the cobbles again yesterday. Letting the bike find its own way on the really bad sections is always interesting! The bike feels great though and it’s good to test out the changes properly before the big day.”
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
“For me Paris – Roubaix is the best race of the year and I’m really looking forward to competing there again. I’ve got good legs at the moment and hopefully on Sunday I’ll be on a good day and can stay up there until the final stages with the team.
“We did a decent recon ride yesterday which was good to test the legs on the cobbles and to check out the different sectors again.”
Marc Reef (NED)
“John is our main man for Roubaix and if everything goes well on the day we have other guys who can be there at the end to help him.
“Powerful breakaways can go far in this race and we will be aware of this and see if we have to be there to cover that.
“Paris – Roubaix is another really special race and we are ready for this last cobbled classic. We showed last weekend at Flanders that when we have to be there we can be and that is one of the strengths of the team.”