Race preview: Paris-Roubaix 2014
April 10, 2014 § 7 Comments
This year Paris-Roubaix promises to be the one of the best editions in years. Here’s why:
- With the less-than-on-form Tom Boonen failing to effectively challenge Fabian Cancellara at the Tour of Flanders, 2014 marks the first time in over a decade that there is less than a 98% chance that the race will be won by either Tommeke or Fabs. Riders, fans, and pundits alike are thrilled at the 3 – 4% chance of crowning a new winner.
- Following the sunny, pleasant weather of the Ronde, Paris-Roubaix promises to be another beneficiary of the global warming that seems destined to kill off the human race while, instead of hanging the Koch Brothers and Exxon from the nearest yardarm, instead basks in the warmth of a fun bicycle race. Trademark applications have already been submitted to change the race’s nickname to the “Heck of the North.”
- Rainy, chilly weather ruined half the pro peloton’s Belgian campaign with the sniffles and the ouchies after Milan – San Remo, so team managers are doubly pleased at the prospect of picnic weather for Paris – Roubaix, even as the ghosts of Roubaix Past roll in their graves.
- As with MSR and the Ronde, Paris – Roubaix 2014 promises to be another epic “strategic” battle between alcoholic, drug-addled team directors screaming instructions into earpieces while their automatons robotically follow instructions until their legs fail or their bicycles break. A PSA on race radios and how they’ve improved race safety will be given by Johan van Summeren.
- The finishing velodrome will not be renamed “Specialized.”
- American fans have a new, popular, handsome, energetic disappointment to replace the old, battered, brokedown disappointment of George Hincapie, as Taylor Phinney promises to be one of USA’s greatest potential 2nd-place finishers since Big George.
- A handful of up-and-coming French riders promise to bring Gaulish strength back to this legendary French race by threatening to crack the top fifty.
- 2014 Paris – Roubaix has introduced a brief comedy segment called the “Wiggins Hour,” where Mr. Drinkypants himself seeks to be the first TdF – PR winner since Bernard Hinault.
- Sep Vanmarcke believes he’s ready to beat Cancellara in a sprint finish on the velodrome in Roubaix because, unicorns.
Now I can go to work. Thanks Seth.
The real reason for the wobbly seat tube on Fabs domain isn’t for a comfy ride, it’s to self wind the Swiss clock work hidden in the bike, I always thought it was a little fishy when they tore his bike down looking for an electric motor and found nothing but a lucky mascot “cuckoo”
I could take him in a sprunt.
I don’t know about calling mini Phinney in second. He’s won the under-23 version of the race. BMC will likely send him up the road later in the race assuming he’s still at the sharp end to force the pace. Not a likely podium this year, but much more potential than Hincapie could ever dream about.
My prediction is Wiggins is in the second group before Arenberg. The first very tough segment of sectors is before Arenberg. After Arenberg the sectors get even more difficult. I won’t be surprised when he quits after falling over once or a single mechanical. He’s no Devolder.
I think I need a Wanky Training Plan certified coach to troubleshoot my lambic difficulties. These beer problems are tough to sort out.
I spoke with an insider who really knows the race. His words: “It vill be hard and long and only strongman win, hard leg, big lung, strong drug. Rider he strong enough talk before race he lose. Rider he tink he got chance no say nuffing. American too weak, French too lazy, Italian to smart do good on Roubaix. Belge or Cancellara dat is all.”
You talk to Vinokurov? Wow.