Welshman Luke Rowe will take up the mantle of leading Team Sky at the ‘Hell of the North’ with Ian Stannard as Team Sky look to win the famous race in a couple of weeks.
The 26-year-old has had a good season in regards to the Classic race, at Omloop Het Nieuwsbald he finished fourth, and at Ghent-Wevelgem last weekend he just missed out on the group which contained the eventual winner Peter Sagan.
But there is no doubting he is progressing on the bike, and he has now been awarded with leaderships duties at Roubaix.
Before Roubaix, Sky have to tackle the Tour of Flanders and judging by the look of the team they have a strong chance of getting someone on the podium.
Michal Golas, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Salvatore Puccio, Geraint Thomas, and Ian Stannard line-up for the 100th edition of ‘De Ronde’ along with Rowe; and if no injuries occur this is the squad Sky will most likely take to Roubaix.
Rowe says, he ‘feels more confident’ in the cobbled Classics
Rowe is vastly becoming an integral part of Sky’s squad, last year at the Tour de France he done a lot of work for the squad at the beginning of stages, but now it seems he is slowly clawing his way up the Sky hierarchy.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly after Ghent-Wevelgem Rowe said, “I definitely noticed I’ve gone up a level,” and he also feels ‘more confident’ as his experience in the Classic races increases.
He could have been in the final group at Wevelgem, but he narrowly missed out on the breakaway that consisted of, Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, Sep Vanmarcke, and Viacheslav Kuznetsov.
“I’m in the thick end of things. Moving on to Roubaix, I hope to go in as a joint leader with Ian Stannard,” said the 26-year-old.
But Sky’s Classic’s director Servais Knaven believes Rowe can step up to the challenge of leading Sky at Roubaix, saying, “They want the leader’s role and want to take the chance.”
Rowe is the ultimate team player; the squad that will most likely go to Roubaix will have riders that will genuine have a chance of winning and Rowe says he will lay it on the line to make sure Sky get the favoured result.
“Whatever they want, I’ll do it. We have guys who can genuinely win the race. They say, ‘Jump.’ I say, ‘How high?'” said Rowe.