The draft start list for Sunday’s U23 Paris Roubaix has been published today, 27 May, including 162 riders from 27 teams.
A race which is always difficult to call, the 170km from Péronne to Roubaix includes 31km of pavé, spread over 27 sectors. 2018 podium finisher Thymen Arensman (SEG Racing Academy) and Lotto-Soudal U23’s pairing of Brent Van Moer are obvious contenders, as is 2017 winner Nils Eekhoff (Development Team Sunweb).
Although Arensman’s form in the mountains, as shown at last week’s Ronde de l’Isard, isn’t yet up there with that which he enjoyed in the summer of 2018, that’s clearly no indication of how he will fare over the flat roads and pavé and the Dutchman leads a strong SEG team which has multiple threats. In fact, any of the team’s six riders could stand on the podium on Sunday and not be met with any surprise whatsoever.
No piece about Roubaix would be complete without a reference to World U23 Cyclo Cross champion and 2017 Junior Paris Roubaix winner Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins). The Yorkshireman has enjoyed success in 2019 with a stage win at the Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux, as well as taking 5th at the UK’s Rutland-Melton off-road classic. His Team Wiggins-Le Col team mate, climber Mark Donovan, is a surprise inclusion but he will welcome the opportunity to hone his off-road skills before the strade bianche sections of the Baby Giro next month.
Great Britain’s national team won pretty much everything going at last week’s A Travers les Hauts des France (2.2), and bring a strong team which includes Junior World Cyclo Cross medallist and Corendon-Circus professional Ben Turner in its lineup.
Draft startlist (27 May)
Link to Roadbook