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by Mark Zalewski
April 5, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Albasini wins sprint on second stage of Pais Vasco, Matthews retains lead; Jules wins Circuit Cycliste Sarthe opener; Carpenter, Winder win Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas; Flanders champ Gilbert to skip Paris-Roubaix; Naesen taking aim at Paris-Roubaix; Sinkeldam tapped for Sunweb in Paris-Roubaix; Leopold König unable to race Giro due to injury; Scheldeprijs set to honour Boonen in his final Belgian race; Keagan Girdlestone completes first race as recovery continues to go well; Chris Hoy looking to ride across Antartica; Video: Meet Sarah Hammer; Video: Ride. Run. Play. Episode 1; Video: High Country Charity Ride.
Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) is taking aim at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, which he said has been circled on his calendar as his key race. The 26-year-old Belgian has had a strong Classics campaign so far, with top ten results at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne and Dwars Door Vlaanderen, followed by a podium at E3 Harelbeke. He was on track to contend in the finale at Tour of Flanders before crashing with Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) on the Kwaremont.
Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) riding with the leaders at E3 Harelbeke .
“I feel good. I have abrasions on my hip, but it does not really hurt,” Naesen told Sporza. “My knee is a little stiff and my elbow is swollen. That bothers a little, but I can ride. This morning we did an easy two hours. That was good.”
Naesen, riding in his first year on the French team, said he does not know the parcours for Paris-Roubaix nearly as well as the Belgian Classics, and will spend two days on reconnaissance rides following Scheldeprijs on Wednesday.
“I thought it is important to explore everything and learn the 29 sectors. Friday we will head over to a hotel near the start of Compiegne.”
“I will start Wednesday in the Scheldeprijs, a race which I see more as a workout — I will not really contend there. Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix is the race that I have designated.”‘
Click through to read more at Sporza.