The team are missing Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, and Scott Thwaites through injury, while perennial Classics hope, Edvald Boasson Hagen, is still searching for his best from having had his spleen removed during the off-season.
The Norwegian claimed fourth in Dwars door Vlaanderen before finishing 19th at the Tour of Flanders, and having finished fifth in Paris-Roubaix two seasons ago, will be looking for a strong performance. Julian Vermote dislocated his shoulder in the Tour of Flanders but is scheduled to race this Sunday.
For directeur sportif, Rolf Aldag, the weather for Paris-Roubaix will be a significant factor. Although rain is not scheduled for Sunday the recent wet weather has left several sectors of cobbles covered in thick mud.
“I’m not a weatherman so I can’t predict what it will be like on race day but as far as our recon was concerned on Thursday, I’ve never seen conditions like that before,” Aldag said.
Aldag was one of the few riders to race and finish the last truly wet Paris-Roubaix back in 2002, finishing 25th on a day that saw less than 45 riders make it to the velodrome.
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