Friday 06 April 2012 - 18:33

Paris-Roubaix Recon Press Conference

Paris-Roubaix Recon Press Conference

Tom Boonen spoke at a press conference at the Kennedy Hotel in Kortrijk on Friday. The Specialized bicycle he will use to race in Paris-Roubaix was at the event, and Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team also announced the selection for the race on Sunday.

Boonen and the team performed course reconnaissance on Friday morning, to examine the course, but to also test the set-up of his Specialized Roubaix bicycle.

"It's always good to test the material, the last set up before the race," Boonen said. "Everything was OK with it. I am in good shape, and the recon was good. The bikes and Zipp wheels are perfect. I also checked my spare bike in case of anything."

The media asked Boonen about being the favorite, having won three Paris-Roubaix already.

"Maybe I am one of the favorites, but I am not the only one," Boonen said. "Pozzato and Ballan showed at Ronde van Vlaanderen they are in great condition. Both are very, very good at the moment. I am a little more explosive than them, but you never know in a race like that. It's always complicated. It is also not only Pozzato, Ballan, or a rider like Van Summeren. It's also other guys, for example Flecha, or Hushovd. In the Spring Classics, I think Hushovd wants to show something."

However, Boonen knows he has a strong team around him going into Sunday's race.

"The guys that are here are really motivated," Boonen said. "They're in really good shape. We are ready to fight and do a good race. I know I can count on a big team effort, with a big loop around me."

There was speculation whether rain could affect the race conditions — particularly the cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix.

"It's not important whether it's rain or dry," Boonen said. "For me, it's the same. I know we have to fight in any case. It's not the weather conditions that have ever given me problems."

Boonen, who has had a record making and breaking season thus far, acknowledged that another record is possible if he crosses the line victorious on Sunday.

"The record, if I say I am not interested to win Roubaix four times, I am lying," Boonen said. "We will see. I am always motivated for his race, but for sure this gives me a little extra motivation."

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