Filippo Ganna is to lead Ineos Grenadiers at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. The Italian rouleur has never finished the Hell of the North, but his time-trialling prowess is thought to suit the pavé of northern France.
He will be joined by Dylan van Baarle, runner up at the Tour of Flanders a fortnight ago, Michał Kwiatkowski, the winner of the Amstel Gold Race, and Magnus Sheffield, the winner of Brabantse Pijl.
Ganna won the under-23 edition of Paris-Roubaix in 2016 and is a multiple track world champion, and wants to use his power to conquer the cobblestones.
He has spoken before about his desire to prove that he can win more than just time-trials, and a one-day race like Roubaix is the perfect opportunity.
"There will be great opportunities to show that I am not ‘just’ a time triallist or a track cyclist," he said earlier this year.
All but two of Ganna's 16 road victories have come against the clock, the exceptions being a breakaway win in the 2020 Giro and a stage of the Etoile de Bessèges last year.
He has also won multiple team and individual pursuit medals on the track, and is part of the current world and Olympic champion team pursuit squad.
The Italian has never finished Roubaix, coming in outside the time limit in 2018 and then not finishing the race in 2019, but has been training hard for this opportunity.
Ganna has been working at the Montichiari track in Italy, with Italian national track coach Marco Villa, replicating the high-intensity efforts he will need over the cobbled sectors.
He will slot into an Ineos Grenadiers team that looks in perfect form for Sunday, with successive win in one-day races in northern Europe: Kwiatkowski last Sunday at Amstel, and Sheffield at Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.
The squad has looked revitalised in the Classics this year, riding aggressively and leading attacks. One notable absentee is Tom Pidcock, who is focusing on La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège next week.
Ineos, or its former guise Team Sky, has never won at Roubaix. The closest they came was third with Ian Stannard in 2016.
Last year Gianni Moscon finished fourth for the team, after finishing fifth in 2017. However, the Italian now rides for Astana Qazaqstan, and will not be lining up at Roubaix this year.
Filippo Ganna (Ita)
Luke Rowe (GBr)
Ben Turner (GBr)
Magnus Sheffield (USA)
Dylan van Baarle (Ned)
Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol)
Cameron Wurf (Aus)
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1