Paris-Roubaix ticker: Van der Poel misses ‘partner in crime’ Pogačar, special helmets for Jumbo-Visma, Trentin leads UAE

Follow all the headlines for the women's and men's Paris-Roubaix this weekend.

Photo: Lazer / Jumbo-Visma

Mathieu van der Poel rues absense of ‘partner in crime’ Pogačar

Mathieu van der Poel may have been bettered by Tadej Pogačar at the Tour of Flanders, but the Dutchman actually wishes the Slovenian was starting Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

“He’s always a partner in crime and he already showed that he’s good on the cobbles in the Tour de France last year when he was also in front here,” Van der Poel said Friday. “It’s always nice to race with strong competitors, but there will be enough strong riders on Sunday.”

Van der Poel forecasts a wide-open race Sunday that will be about far more than just him and archrival Wout van Aert.

“Filippo Ganna will be really good, and Mads Pedersen. Wout van Aert, of course. In Roubaix, you can name 10-20 riders who can win the race. Given the circumstances, you need a bit of luck as well. For sure I’m among the favorites but it’s really difficult to pick out one top favorite for this race.”

Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team will race the “Hell of the North” as Alpecin-Elegant. The “Elegant” logo takes headline slot on the team’s jerseys in a mission to promote the Deceuninck brand’s window series.

Alpecin-Elegant for Paris-Roubaix:

Mathieu van der Poel
Jasper Philipsen
Silvan Dillier
Gianni Vermeersch
Jonas Rickaert
Michael Gogl
Kaden Groves

Jumbo-Visma to race with special safety awareness helmets

Jumbo-Visma wears limited helmets this weekend. (Photo: Lazer / Jumbo-Visma)

Jumbo-Visma men’s and women’s teams will race brain-design Lazer helmets during Paris-Roubaix as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of wearing bike helmets.

The team of Marianne Vos, Wout van Aert, Coryn Labecki, and men’s defending champion Dylan van Baarle will use the special edition helmets only at the “Hell of the North.”

The initiative is part of a “use your head” campaign designed to push for all riders to wear a helmet, whether an occasional commuter or a WorldTour racer.

“The use of a bicycle helmet is fortunately no longer an issue in professional cycling, but outside professional cycling it is not yet self-evident to wear one, while it can prevent so much misery,”  team boss Richard Plugge said. “We think it’s great to raise awareness of this issue as a successful team – with the corresponding reach.”

Matteo Trentin leads UAE, no Pogačar

Trentin captains UAE Emirates at Roubix.

Sorry, Pogi fans, there’s no late-hour start from Tadej Pogačar.

UAE Team Emirates released its Paris-Roubaix start list, and the two-time Tour de France champion is not making a surprise appearance.

Instead, Matteo Trentin will lead following his top-10 at the Tour of Flanders last weekend.

“The sensations in Flanders were really good and as a team we played our cards perfectly,” Trentin said. “I’m happy with my condition and could be up there in the final so it’s positive for the objectives ahead. Obviously, Paris-Roubaix is a very different race with different characteristics but we are focused and motivated to go for a good result.”

UAE for Paris-Roubaix: Pascal Ackermann (Ger), Sjoerd Bax (Ned), Mikkel Bjerg (Den), Ryan Gibbons (RSA), Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor), Rui Oliveira (Por), Matteo Trentin (Ita)

Mathieu van der Poel ‘absolutely ready’

Mathieu van der Poel saw his choice to race Scheldeprijs before Roubaix pay off Wednesday. The Dutch ace delivered a monster leadout for teammate Jasper Philipsen to keep the legs turning and reinforce his favorite’s status for “The Hell of the North.”

“It was definitely the best choice to start here today. A 200km race with a strong team is better preparation than a training ride. I always found the gap between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix difficult, so this Wednesday race was ideal,” Van der Poel told Het Nieuwsblad.

“I felt really good in the race. The team did a fantastic job and we always stayed out of trouble. I am absolutely ready for Sunday!”

Vittoria Guazzini out after sustaining pelvic fracture in recon crash

Rising classics star Vittoria Guazzini is a DNS for Paris-Roubaix Femmes. FDJ-Suez’s Italian ace was put on the sidelines after a heavy crash during team recon Wednesday.

“Vittoria suffers from a pelvic fracture. Unfortunately, she will be out of the race for Paris-Roubaix and unavailable for an indefinite period of time,” the team wrote. “This is a heavy loss for the team ahead of Paris-Roubaix. FDJ-Suez sends Vittoria all its support and wishes her a quick and full recovery.”

Grace Brown and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig are expected to lead FDJ-Suez into Sunday’s monument in Guazzini’s absence.

Marianne Vos back

Vos made a sensational chase for second in the inaugural Roubaix Femmes. (Photo: Gruber Images/VN)

Marianne Vos will return for her second rumble over the cobblestones. Second in the inaugural edition, she missed last year’s race due to a COVID infection.

She’s expected to play a major role in Saturday’s Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

“It’s a race that stands out in the calendar. When it was added to our calendar three years ago, as riders, we didn’t really know what to expect,” she said. “You only know it from television, you know it’s going to be hard but it’s difficult to know what you’ll get in the race. The first edition was a rainy, slippery one.

“It felt really special to be part of that. I was sort of lucky in the race not to have too much trouble. And of course ending up with a good result, it was a nice first experience. There is no other classic like Paris-Roubaix. It’s definitely something special.”

Five Intermarché riders will miss Roubaix

Intermarché-Circus-Wanty will see its Paris-Roubaix roster depleted due to crashes and illness.

Three riders — Taco van der Hoorn, Biniam Girmay and Aimé De Gendt — crashed out of Tour of Flanders, and will not be able to race Sunday. Others sidelined include Adrien Petit (fracture of a phalanx) and Hugo Page (mononucleosis).

The team will bring Mike Teunissen, Laurenz Rex, Dries De Pooter, and Baptiste Planckaert.

Van Avermaet, Naesen for Ag2r-Citroën

Oliver Naesen and 2017 Roubaix winner Greg Van Avermaet headline Ag2r-Citroën for Sunday’s big race.

Naesen punched into the top-20 at Gent-Wevelgem, and Van Avermaet’s struggled to be at his best so far. Both riders will be hoping to salvage the team’s northern classics campaign with a big ride Sunday.

“Paris-Roubaix will conclude this chapter of cobbled classics. The queen of the classics is always an important appointment in the season. The weather should be mild with dry cobbles and will offer, as usual, an unpredictable scenario,” said sport director Julian Jordie. “This should result in a fast race. We will have a strong group to be active and to finish this big block on a good note.”

Mathieu van der Poel to race Scheldeprijs

Mathieu van der Poel will race Wednesday’s Scheldeprijs ahead of a run at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

Alpecin-Deceuninck officials confirmed the Dutch star, hot off finishing second at Tour of Flanders, will use to mid-week classic to keep his form going into the “Hell of the North.”

“A race in my own region is nice,” Van der Poel said. “Some extra race rhythm in the run-up to Paris-Roubaix is always good and besides, I’m looking forward to try to help as in Tirreno our sprinter Jasper Philipsen.”

Lotte Kopecky could become first woman to achieve Flanders-Roubaix double

One’s in the bag, can Lotte Kopecky become the first woman to achieve the Flanders-Roubaix double?

The SD Worx star is brimming with confidence following her Tour of Flanders victory Sunday, but also says she brings no pressure to Saturday’s race.

“For me, there’s less pressure. Of course, you want to win the race again and we will not be happy if we don’t win the race again,” Kopecky told VeloNews.”But, if don’t win the race, I think we already can be quite happy with how the season went. It cannot be like this the whole year or every weekend.

Click here to read a full exclusive interview with Kopecky a day after her Flanders triumph: No pressure on Kopecky ahead of Paris-Roubaix

Preliminary start list for men’s Paris-Roubaix

The Arenberg is always a major pinch point at Roubaix. (Photo: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Race officials released the list of favorites for Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel headline the all-star rosters for Sunday’s clash of the titans over the pavé of northern France.

Defending men’s champion Dylan van Baarle is expected to start Sunday at Jumbo-Visma after missing Flanders on Sunday.

Flanders winner Tadej Pogačar isn’t racing, and will return for Ardennes treble later this month. Others not racing include Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Quinn Simmons (Trek Segafredo), two riders also preferring the Ardennes this season instead of Roubaix.

Despite crashing out Sunday at Flanders, Peter Sagan also appears on the preliminary start lists in what will be his final Paris-Roubaix.

25 teams, main contenders
Jayco AlUla: Durbridge (AUS) and Štybar (CZE)
Bahrain Victorious: Mohorič (SLO) and Wright (GBR)
Soudal–Quick-Step: Merlier, Lampaert (BEL), Asgreen (DAN) and Sénéchal (FRA)
Lotto Dstny: De Lie, Vermeersch and Frison (BEL)
Alpecin–Deceuninck: Van der Poel (NED), Dillier (SUI) and Groves (AUS)
Intermarché–Circus–Wanty: Girmay (ERI) and Rex (BEL)
Bingoal–WB: Van Keirsbulck (BEL)
Team Flanders–Baloise: Van Poucke (BEL)
AG2R Citroën: Van Avermaet, O. Naesen and Dewulf (BEL)
Cofidis: Walscheid (GER) and Wallays (BEL)
Groupama–FDJ: Démare (FRA) and Küng (SUI)
TotalEnergies: Sagan (SVK), A. Turgis (FRA) and Bodnar (POL)
Arkéa–Samsic: Hofstetter, Louvel (FRA) and McLay (GBR)
BORA-hansgrohe: Politt (GER) and Archbold (NZL)
Israel–Premier Tech: Vanmarcke and Van Asbroeck (BEL)
Astana Qazaqstan: Moscon (ITA) and Bol (NED)
Jumbo–Visma: Van Aert (BEL), Laporte (FRA) and Van Baarle (NED)
DSM: Degenkolb (GER) and Eekhoff (NED)
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team: Kristoff and Tiller (NOR)
Movistar Team: García Cortina, Lazkano (ESP) and Norsgaard Jørgensen (DEN)
Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team: Devriendt (BEL)
UAE Team Emirates: Bjerg (DEN), Ackermann (GER) and Trentin (ITA)
Ineos Grenadiers: Ganna (ITA) and Kwiatkowski (POL)
EF Education–EasyPost: Bisseger (SUI), Keukeleire (BEL) and Bettiol (ITA)
Trek–Segafredo: Stuyven (BEL) and M. Pedersen (DEN)

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