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runners approach paved areas

Your question is timely, here the forces involved

The least we can say is that the Tour of Flanders has not really allowed to clear a favorite. All the contenders for the final victory (or almost) finished in the same group, too busy watching each other to dare to leave in pursuit of the future winner Alberto Bettiol. Result, it is difficult to clear a favorite, even as Paris-Roubaix is ​​one of the most indecisive races of the year.

The Deceuninck-Quickstep: Imperial since the start of the Classics season, the Belgian team seemed to lack rhythm on the "Round": Philippe Gilbert has dropped very early, Stybar, so strong a fortnight ago, could not follow the best … The Czech is certainly the best card to play for Patrick Lefevere's team, but the team looks less like an unbeatable armada.

Peter Sagan: Intriguing since the start of the season, the title holder has not yet finished a classic paved in the top 10 this season, and he sometimes seemed to be struggling on the Tour of Flanders. Difficult, however, to exclude the group of favorites, as every time he starts a race.

Greg Van Avermaet: The winner of 2017 is a little in the same situation as Sagan. Often lonely on the Classics this season, the Belgian has often been well placed (3rd on E3, 2nd of Het Nieuwsblad) but he has not won yet. On pavers so difficult to negotiate, his experience could make the difference.

Oliver Naesen, Wout van Aert: The two Belgians are in similar forms: very often placed this season, they have not yet won a race despite several podiums. On the Tour of Flanders, Oliver Naesen was a little sick and Wout van Aert, present with the favorites, was a little stuck on the end of the race.

John Degenkolb, Alexander Kristoff : Two "old" sprinters who have shown great things this season. The German, winner of Paris-Roubaix in 2015 and the pavement stage of the Tour de France 2018, appeared in shape on Milan San Remo but was the victim of a mechanical problem in the final. Second of Ghent-Wevelgem, he could make his speed talk in Roubaix. Alexander Kristoff, for his part, has created a quality Flemish campaign: he won Gent Wevelgem and followed with a third place on the Tour of Flanders. What make it one of the favorites of the North Hell.

But what makes the salt of Paris-Roubaix is ​​also its uncertainty. We are obviously not immune to seeing a surprise winner in Roubaix (Hello to Mathew Hayman)

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