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“The falls over the last few weeks have certainly weakened the team a little bit, but individual riders like Jan Barta and Zak Dempster are in very good form."

Photo: RCS Sport




12.04.2014 @ 19:40 Posted by Andy Pedersen

In the shape of Paris-Roubaix, on Sunday NetApp – Endura will tackle the third of the five “Monuments” races this year. This is the fourth time that the top-ranked German cycling team has raced in the “Queen of the Classics”, which this year includes a total of 51.1 kilometers on the notorious cobblestones, with a route that stretches 257 kilometers overall.


“The falls over the last few weeks have certainly weakened the team a little bit, but individual riders like Jan Barta and Zak Dempster are in very good form. We will support these two as best we can, so that they can save their strength for the decisive race situations. Our objective has therefore changed somewhat in comparison to previous years. We are aiming not only to be in the breakaway group of the day but to fight for a good place. In Jan and Zak we have two riders who, on a good day, can keep pace with the favorites in the crucial phases, at Arenberg and in the following sections, so perhaps they will be able to improve on our placing last year.


Contrary to what the name might suggest, Paris-Roubaix does not start in the French capital but 80 kilometers further north in Compiègne. From there, the route travels for an entirely flat 257 kilometers to the velodrome of Roubaix in northeastern France. This year, riders will reach the first of the 28 characteristic cobbled sections after 97.5 kilometers in the shape of Troisvilles à Inchy.


The initial deciding section generally begins after a good 160 kilometers in the Arenberg forest, which, like “Mons-en-Pévèle” after 208 kilometers and “Carrefour de l’Arbre” 16 kilometers before the finish, is among the most difficult cobbled sections and which the organizer has classified with five stars. The weather also plays a crucial role in determining the course of the race. As on all of the previous three occasions that NetApp – Endura has participated, the riders should, however, be spared rain this year too. Wet weather would make the cobblestone sections, which are up to 200 years old, slippery and therefore technically more demanding.


Like last year, Team NetApp – Endura has travelled to the “Hell of the North” a few days early to refresh riders’ memories of the routes and to fine-tune equipment. Our photographers will be following the route inspection and sharing their impressions with us in our photo gallery.


Line-up: Jan Barta, Sam Bennett, Zak Dempster, Blaz Jarc, Ralf Matzka, Jonathan McEvoy, Andreas Schillinger, Michael Schwarzmann



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