April 8, 2006 – Tomorrow, arguably the most famous and special one-day classic race takes place in France: Paris-Roubaix. The 259K race, also known as the “Hell of the North” is definitely the toughest, strangest, and most sought-after classic for the hard men of the spring foray.
The race leaves the outskirts of Paris and takes riders through a course that provides over 52K of pavÃ©, which is broken down into 27 sections. The most famous and difficult section is definitely the Arenberg forest. Look for each rider to puncture or crash or least once, twice, or even more – and still have a possibility of winning – it’s that tough. Tomorrow, the odds-on favourite has to include World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) who has set the spring season on fire, Lotto’s Peter Van Petegem, and Disco’s George Hincapie, who has come so close but still has not won. Keep an eye out for Hincapie’s Belgian teammate Leif Hoste to be in the mix. CSC has strong men Fabio Cancellera and Dane Lars Michaelsen that could surprise. The action gets underway at 10:30am local time and should take most of the day until a winner is crowned.
Canada will have a few Canadians riding. Phonak’s Ryder Hesjedal, Saunier Duval’s Charles Dionne, and his teammate Polish Canadian Peter Mazur.