Last years` Paris-Roubaix was more than successful for IAM Cycling as Martin Elminger finished 5th and Aleksejs Saramontis finished 13th. Even though this is maybe the toughest one-day race in the calendar, Saramontis is more than looking forward to it:
“I love the cobblestones,” Aleksejs Saramotins enthusiastically declared when talking about the northern classic that he has raced half a dozen times since becoming a professional. “I’m not a masochist, but I had a lot of fun in my first Paris-Roubaix. I managed to tame them a little, and I am already looking forward to our recon of them that my teammates and I have planned for Friday.”
The Latvian national champion managed to get that 13th place by being part of an early break and he explains why he chose this tactic:
“We are all motivated by the thought of this race. Last year, I managed to get into the early break. That is the best way to avoid the stress that results from our first approach to the entrance of the pavé sections. I stayed at the front for over 200 kilometers without incident. I even managed to be the first out of the Arenberg forest. It was just crazy because I heard the shouts and excitement from the fans at the side of the road. But I was too focused on negotiating my bike through that difficult cobbled section to be able to
enjoy the honor fully.”
One rider who sadly will not line-up on Sunday is Martin Elminger himself. The 37 year old Swiss rider suffered a crash in the 100th edition of De Ronde this past Sunday, which left the IAM Cycling road captain off the Roubaix team with a broken left scaphoid.
What will make Sundays` race even tougher is the fact that rain showers are expected toward the end of the week. As a result, for the first time in several years, the pavés could
certainly turn into the “Hell of the North” and the riders will probably be engulfed in dust throughout the cobbled sections.
IAM Cycling line-up for Paris-Roubaix: Roger Kluge, Heinrich Haussler, Matthias Brandle, Reto Hollenstein, Oliver Naesen, Vicente Reynes, Aleksejs Saramontis, Jonas Van Genechten.
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Aleksejs Saramontis IAM Cycling Martin Elminger Paris-Roubaix