Following is the list of 25 teams selected to take part in the 108th Paris-Roubaix starting from Compiegne on April 12:
© Presse Sports
Sometimes it’s easy to recognise a silhouette, a posture or an attitude. On the Paris-Roubaix, it can happen that behind a mask of mud and underneath a grimy jersey, observers can spot a rider thanks to the way he cycles and the power he exudes on the trickiest parts of the route. Franco Ballerini, who died last Sunday whilst taking part as a co-pilot in a motor rally, was indeed this type of champion.During his career, he was able to a tame the Queen of the classics by dint of perseverance and hard work, becoming one of the most deserving custodians of the “spirit of the cobbles”. Before winning Paris-Roubaix, Ballerini had to suffer for his art on this race, with defeat at the hands of Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle at the cycling arena in 1993. However, he turned the despair he felt at this setback into a driving force. Two years later, in spite of a shoulder injured on the Gand-Wevelgem race, he pulled off a superb solo number as the “dancer on the cobbles” over the last 30 kilometres of the event, finally achieving victory. In 1998, it was with a lead of more than four minutes that he beat his nearest pursuer, Andrea Tafi, picking up his second title in Roubaix. Finally, in 2001, it was on the scene of his finest achievements that Franco Ballerini drew his career to a close, dressed in a jersey on which he had taken the time to write “Thank you Roubaix”. This sign of recognition, worthy of the greatest and most courageous riders, is a fitting way of paying tribute to him now it is time to say farewell. “Thank you Ballerini” is an expression that will today be in all the minds of Paris-Roubaix fans and cycling enthusiasts. The race organisers, who held a minute’s silence accompanied by the pack competing in the Tour of Qatar, would like to express its sincere commiserations to his family and all his friends.
© Presse SportsStijn Devolder (QST), winner of Tour des Flandres in 2008 et 2009
© Presse SportsEvald Boasson Hagen (THR), winner of Gand-Wevelgem 2009
In cycling you are only as good as your last race. And on the Paris-Roubaix, the stature of king of the cobblestones is defended with the calves.
In 2005 Tom Boonen won this Easter Weekend classic at the age of 24 and didn’t take his second win on the race known as the ‘The Hell of the North” until 2008. To join mentor, Johan Musseuw in the club of three-time winners, Belgium’s most popular athlete will have to hurry and will have to take into account the ambitions of his team mates as well as control the growing number of contenders. Quick Step’s, Stijn Devolder may show himself to be a real leader after the powerful demonstration he put in on the recently held Tour des Flandres. While Sylvain Chavanel has won this season, he’s hungry for more, and gives French cycling hopes a real shot for a win at the Roubaix velodrome, 12 years after Frédéric Guesdon. Leif Hoste from arch rival Silence-Lotto will be the defending champion’s biggest threat. And if Fabian Cancellara can return to his 2006 form and remain with the leaders after the “Trouée d’Arenberg” and “Carrefour de l’Arbre” difficulties, he could be in for a second Paris-Roubaix success….
Yet, one of the teams that have come on to the scene recently could provide this year’s victor. The potential or credible candidates are in any case numerous. Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) could be a surprise outsider. But the most watched will be the Cervelo Test Team with the energetic Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd and Roger Hammond and even more so Team Columbia High Road with a team seemingly built to win on the cobblestones. With Evald Boasson Hagen, winner of Wednesday’s Gand-Wevelgem, Marcus Burghardt, Bernhard Eisel and George Hincapie the head of the field is sure to be awash in yellow and white.
Top riders of the 24 teams
Team Milram (MRM) : Knaven (Hol)
Landbouwkrediet - Colnago (LAN) : Boucher, Flahaut (Fra)
Quick Step (QST) : Boonen, Devolder (Bel), Chavanel (Fra)
Silence - Lotto (SIL) : Hoste, Van Avermaet (Bel)
Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator (TSV) : Neirynck (Bel)
Team Saxo Bank (SAX) : Cancellara (Sui), Breschel (Dan)
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE) : Coyot, Portal (Frau)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS) : Fernandez (Esp)
BMC Racing Team (BMC) : Cruz (Usa), Moos (Sui)
Garmin - Slipstream (GRM) : Dean (Nzl)
Team Columbia - High Road (THR) : Boasson Hagen (Nor), Burghardt (All), Eisel (Aut), Hincapie (Usa)
AG2R La Mondiale (ALM) : Elmiger (Sui)
Agritubel (AGR) : Feillu (Fra), Ista (Bel)
BBox Bouygues Telecom (BTL) : Haddou (Fra)
Cofidis, Le Crédit en Ligne (COF) : Brard, Duclos-Lassalle (Fra)
Française des Jeux (FDJ) : Guesdon, Offredo (Fra)
Lampre - N.G.C. (LAM) : Righi (Ita)
Liquigas (LIQ) : Kuschynski (Blr), Quinziato (Ita)
Astana (AST) : Popovych (Ukr)
Rabobank (RAB) : Flecha (Esp), Langeveld ( (Hol)
Skil-Shimano (SKS) : Lemoine (Fra), Veelers (Hol)
Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team (VAC) : Leukemans (Bel)
Team Katusha (KAT) : Pozzato (Ita)
Cervélo Test Team (CTT) : Hammond (Gbr), Haussler (All), Hushovd (Nor)
© Presse SportsGilbert Duclos-Lassalle, in 1992
Winner in 1993, at over 38 years of age, of one of the 15 Paris-Roubaix races that he finished, Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle has a special place in the statistics of the event.
. 1 cm or 1 thousand of a second: the smallest gap registered at the finish in 1990, Planckaert beat Bauer.
. 2: number of feeding zones, at Solesmes (Km 114,5) and Beuvry La Foret (Km193)
. 3: Number of riders that showed up together at the Velodrome in 2008, Boonen-Cancellara-Ballan
. 4: Number of places of Tom Boonen in the top 3 (3° in 2002,1° in 2005, 2° in 2006, 1° in 2008)
. 4: Record of victories of Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck.
. 5mn 21 sec: the biggest gap since 1945 between the first (Merckx) and the second (De Vlaeminck)
. 5 h 58’ 42: the time established by Tom Boonen in 2008 to cover the 259,5 Kms.
. 7 kg: the average pressure of the tyres.
. 9: The French victories since the end of World War 2.
. 11 h: Starting time
.12 h15 : The time established by Henri Pelissier, winner in 1919 on a destroyed roads of World War 1.
. 15 h: The expected time schedule of the Trouée d’Arenberg passage. La Drève des Boules d’Hérin (Km 164)
. 16: The Paris Roubaix races finished by Belgian Raymond Impanis between 1947 and 1963. (15 for Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle)
. 24: The number of teams at the start.
. 27: The number of cobbled sectors (27 in 2006 - 28 in 2007 and 2008)
. 30: The French victories
. 32: The number of starts given at Compiègne, since 1977. 33rd start this year.
. 38 years and 8 months: The age of Duclos-Lassalle in 1993 for his second win, a record in the matter
. 43,406 km/h: The average speed of Boonen in 2008.
. 45,129 km/h: The record average speed of the race on a different course (Peter Post in 1964)
. 52: Number of Belgian victories
. 52,9: The number of kilometres with cobbled-stones in 2009 (52,8 in 2008) for 27 sectors.
. 57,7 km: The record number of kilometres with cobbled-stones, during the 1992 edition.
. 106: The number of Paris-Roubaix races competed.
. 107: The number of titles given (André Mahé and Serse Coppi were joint winners in 1949)
. 222 km: The distance of the victorious breakaway of Belgian Dirk De Mol (1988)
. 259,5 km: The course between Compiègne and the Roubaix Velodrome for the 2009 edition.
. 1000 francs (seven times the monthly salary of a minor at the time): prize given to the winner of the first edition, won by German Josef Fischer, in 1896.
. 1968: The year of main change of course with the appearance of the Trouée d’Arenberg.
. 2400 m: The length of the Trouée d’Arenberg.
. 3700 m: The longest sectors - Quiévy at Saint Python
- Hornaing at Wandignies
. 30 000 euros: The winner’s prize
. 91 000 euros: Total prize money.
According to the last examinations by Christian Prudhomme and Jean-François Pescheux on April, 6th, the organisation has given a difficulty mark to each of the 27 cobbled zones, based on their length, kind cobbles and position in the race.
The arrangements realised on the 2009 route mainly concern the zone in Bersée, which is back this year in the race after two years out. The zone between Wallers and Helesmes has been taken out of the race because of safety reasons. The city of Wallers will have it repared as soon as possible to make sure it will back in the 2010 race.
|The 27 cobblestones zones of Paris-Roubaix|
|27. Troisvilles (km 98 - 2200 m) +++|
26. Viesly (km 104,5 - 1800 m) +++
25. Quievy (km 107 - 3700 m) ++++
24. Saint-Python (km 112 - 1500 m) ++
23. Vertain (km 119,5 - 2300 m) +++
22. Capelle-sur-Ecaillon - Le Buat (km 126,5 - 1700 m) +++
21. Verchain-Maugré - Quérénaing (km 138 - 1600 m) +++
20. Querenaing - Maing (km 141 - 2500 m) +++
19. Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon (km 144 - 1600 m) ++
18. Haveluy (km 155,5 - 2500 m) ++++
17. Trouée d’Arenberg (km 163,5 - 2400 m) +++++
16. Hornaing - Wandignies (km 176,5 - 3700 m) +++
15. Warlaing - Brillon (km 184 - 2400 m) +++
14. Tilloy - Sars-et-Rosières (187,5 - 2400 m) +++
|13. Beuvry-la-Forêt à Orchies (km 194 - 1400m) +++|
12. Orchies (km 198,5 - 1700 m) +++
11. Auchy-lez-Orchies - Bersée (km 205 - 2600 m) +++
10. Mons-en-Pévèle (km 210,5 - 3000 m) +++++
9. Mérignies - Pont-à-Marcq (km 216,5 - 700 m) ++
8. Pont-Thibaut (km 219,5 - 1400 m) +++
7. Templeuve l’Epinette (km 225 - 200 m) +
7. Le Moulin de Vertain (km 225,5 - 500 m) ++
6. Cysoing - Bourghelles (km 232 - 1300 m) ++++
6. Bourghelles - Wannehain (km 234,5 - 1100 m) ++++
5. Camphin-en-Pévèle (km 239 - 1800 m) ++++
4. Le Carrefour de l’Arbre (km 242 - 2100 m) +++++
3. Gruson (km 244 - 1100 m) ++
2. Hem (km 251 - 1400 m) +
1. Roubaix (km 257 - 300 m) +
Download the press release(.pdf, 79.8 kb)
From the Trouée d'Arenberg to the Roubaix Velodrome, going through the Carrefour de l'Arbre, the queen of Classics has numerous places filled with history for the cycling amateurs. The finest connoisseurs also have their habits at Troisvilles, in the common where the pack hits the first cobbled sectors. In the heart of the village, many meet at Chez Françoise, a place for those who have a passion for both omelettes and Paris-Roubaix. This year, the owners have decided to pay homage to Jean Stablinski who passed away on the 22nd of July 2007. The former minor who became a cycling World Champion was one of the guardians of the spirit of Paris-Roubaix, and often had a part in the evolution of the course thanks to his knowledge of the area. A picture of the champion has been set in front of the restaurant. "I have made it to the paradise of cycling", reassures Stablinski. If there is such a place, one probably enjoys a nice omelette every morning.
As soon as the first reconnaissance of the course, the organisation teams noticed the state of damages of the Wallers cobbled sector at Hélesmes, also known as the ''Pont Gibus''. 1.6 km long, the path is precisely dangerous and impassable on the first 400 metres. The decision to remove the sector from the course was therefore taken with the hope to have it back on the race soon. Situated at a strategic place, immediately after the Trouée d'Arenberg, this former 4 stars sector (on a difficulty scale going up to 5) indeed has an obvious impact on the race. The City Hall of Wallers has announced that it would take care of the works on this part of the sector so that it can have its place again for the 2010 edition.
This week, Jean-François Pescheux went on the course of Paris-Roubaix to witness the advancement of works on the cobbled sector of Bersée that will be back on the course after a two-year absence. The works that consist of adding cobbled stones on a 600 metre long portion were done by the Communauté de communes du Pays de Pévèle, where the race traditionally remains for over an hour. The president, Luc Monet, Mayor of Templeuve, is especially devoted to the heritage that represents the cobbled stones of Paris-Roubaix.
Luc Monet, how was the renovation of the Bersée sector decided?
We already have a strong history in that domain because indeed we maintain the cobbled sectors of the race since 2002. But this time, the damages were so important that we were forced to call a company and no longer the gardening schools of the area. The bill was therefore a lot bigger, 230 000 €, and the Région Nord-Pas-de-Calais therefore granted us funds to start the works.
What was the works calendar?
Three teams of around ten people worked from the beginning of January in weather conditions that were sometimes difficult on the Bersée sector. We had to start by getting rid of the cobbled stones, then had to dig 60 cm to start new foundations, put sand and then the cobbled stones. All these operations are obviously manual which makes the work long. On average, the workers take care of ten metres per day. Now we are sure of being able to deliver the sector for the 31st of March. And we have the guarantee that it will be safeguarded from future damages; especially because the ditches dug on the sides allow the water to go by.
What are the stakes of your implication on this type of work?
For us, it is mainly the preservation of a heritage. We are naturally devoted to Paris-Roubaix and we precisely want the race to carry on going through the Pays de Pévèle. So it is natural to do what is necessary to welcome the race. We are on a strategic place of the race, the Communauté spreading all the way to the Carrefour de l'Arbre sector: that's were it all happens! Of course we sell our image on the day of Paris-Roubaix. The elected people have actually easily granted us their approval. We also expect consequences concerning tourism based on our investment. The renovated sectors are indeed also used for mountain-bike circuits or walking paths.
Here is the list of 24 teams selected to take part in Paris-Roubaix on the 12th of April.
After having been informed of the situation concerning the Amica Chips - Knauf team that is not included in the biological passport programme, the organisers have decided to take the team off the invitation list for the 107th edition.
Download the press release(.pdf, 80.4 kb)
The preparation continues on the course of Paris-Roubaix, more specifically concerning one of the strategic places of the race where a selection between possible winners on the Roubaix Velodrome starts. Just before the decisive sector of Mons-en-Pévèle, the cobbled portion leading to Auchy-lez-Orchies had been reduced to 1200 metres during the last two editions, due to the bad state of the cobbled stones on the last part. The renovation project, taken care of by the Communauté de Communes de Pévèle, the Conseil Général du Nord and the Région Nord-Pas de Calais, will allow the pack to go through this sector again in its completeness, 2500 metres. The riders will then be about 50 kilometres away from the finish.
Tom Boonen, without a big classic win since his Tour of Flanders victory in 2006, set the record straight when he won Paris-Roubaix for the second time at the end of a brilliant 106th edition.
The Queen of Classics could not have dreamt of a grander finale as the three leading favourites at the start were left to battle it out for victory in the last 35 kilometres.
Each of the 28 cobbled section had broken the hopes of the other contenders and 2006 winner Cancellara was the one to bear the fatal blow in Templeuve, followed his predecessor on the winners list, Boonen, and Italy’s Alessandro Ballan, the 2007 Tour of Flanders champion.
The big three remained together until the velodrome and former world champion Boonen was far too strong for his two rivals in the final sprint. He surged 200 metres from the line to collect the laurels and give his Quick Step team their second classic win in succession after the Tour of Flanders won by Stijn Devolder last week.