World Champion Thor Hushovd will reconnoitre the final cobblestone sectors of the Paris-Roubaix today in France.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, the Norwegian will preview the last 150 kilometres of the one-day classic with Garmin-Cervélo team-mate Johan Van Summeren. The team’s new classics coach and 2003 winner, Peter Van Petegem will guide the duo.
Belgian Van Petegem will take the Garmin duo over both the old and the new cobblestone sectors of this year’s Paris-Roubaix.
Last month, L’Equipe reported that Paris-Roubaix will include five new sectors: three were already raced in the 1980s and in 2005, and two have never been used. The two new sectors – Millonfosse, 1400m, and Brillon-Tilloy, 1100m – will follow the famous Arenberg Forest.
Race organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will keep the total distance under 260 kilometres. To do so it will re-route the race and skip three cobblestone sectors from last year. Arenberg Forest, 2400m, is reported to fall later in there race, 80 kilometres to the finish, instead of 92.
ASO will release more details today.
Hushovd won the Under 23 Paris-Roubaix in 1998. The last two years, he finished on the podium of the professional version. Now 33 years old and with the rainbow jersey of World Champion, he is ready for the win.
“There are many things left for me to win, but my main goal now is to win Paris-Roubaix,” he told Cycle Sport magazine in October. “That has been my dream for many years, and to win it in the rainbow jersey would be all the better.”
He began his classics season on Saturday at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He finished 33rd behind winner Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), however, he marked key Roubaix rival, Tom Boonen. Hushovd followed Boonen on key end-of-race attack and noted afterwards, that they both seem to be in similar condition.
Boonen won Paris-Roubaix three times: 2005, 2008 and 2009.