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by Mark Zalewski
April 8, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Valverde sprints out of select group to win Pais Vasco, stage 5; Coquard wins final stage, Calmejane the overall for Direct Energie at Circuit Cycliste Sarthe; Brennauer takes sprint win in Healthy Ageing Tour as van Dijk protects lead; With an eye on the all-time record, Boonen calm heading into final Roubaix; ‘One of the classiest of the big champions:’ Rivals, teammates celebrate Boonen’s career; Aru suffers knee injury during altitude training; No Liège defense for Poels due to injury; Road furniture causes more crashes at Pais Vasco, Cummings and Atapuma out with injuries; Professional Cycling Association reviews disc brake covers; British Cycling creates ‘People Director’ position to focus on athlete welfare; Team Sky bring three riders new to Paris-Roubaix; Second indoor velodrome coming to US; Video: Canyon-SRAM on why they train; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour: Focus on Ronde van Vlaanderen; Video: UCI timing partner Tissot.
A win on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix has eluded Team Sky since it began in 2010. That year it came third with Juan Antonio Flecha and again came third last year with Ian Stannard, still it’s best result. This year the team supporting Ian Stannard’s bid to improve that place will include three riders making their debut.
Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Lukas Wisniowski are all first timers in the elite race, though Dibben has some experience with the Roubaix cobbles, taking third in the espoirs edition in 2012 and fourth in the junior race in 2011.
Following Michal Kwiatkowski’s win at Milano-Sanremo, Team Sky has largely had a quiet Classics season, with the exception of Elia Viviani’s runner-up in the sprint at Scheldeprijs last Wednesday and Luke Rowe running third at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.
Viviani will also be part of the line-up if the race comes down to a sprint on the Roubaix velodrome.
Should Stannard not make the final selection, Luke Rowe is another card the team can play. He finished eighth in the race in 2015 and was top-five in both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tour of Flanders last year.