Paris-Roubaix. The Queen of the Classics. The Hell of the North.
admitted losing some of his speed, but what remains is formidable. The Quick Step team that has helped him win in the past is still there, and it carried Boonen to victory on Wednesday. Do not be surprised if the Lion of Flanders roars one last time.
George Hincapie (U.S. Postal Service) has excellent form, and his victory at Three Days of De Panne proves it. Hincapie brings plenty of strength to the race, and he has a good sprint. The American's team, however, is not as strong as some of the other contenders'. Barring an exceptional individual exploit, a place on the podium is the best that Hincapie can hope for.
Peter Van Petegem (Lotto) cannot be ruled out. He has not shown his best form this season, but last year's Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner knows how to win classics. If he finds his form, he could win.
Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile) thrust himself into the limelight with last week's victory in the Tour of Flanders. Wesemann is a tough, experienced rider who in 2002 was runner-up to Museeuw with a broken pedal cleat and who finished seventh at the 2001 Hell of the North with similar problems. Look for him to race well tomorrow, although probably not well enough to win.
For tomorrow's action, check in at http://www.roadcycling.com! Au revoir!