Paris-Roubaix 2014: Cancellara and Boonen go head to head

Fabian Cancellara will head into Sunday's Paris-Roubaix hoping to repeat last year's heroics over the cobbles of northern France.

The Trek rider hopes to complete a Flanders-Roubaix double for the second year running, and third year overall.

With a 257 kilometre parcours, including 51 kilometres of cobbled (pavé) sections, the man known as 'Spartacus' is once again seen as the man to beat.

However, although Cancellara's raw power is likely to have an impact on the race, just as likely to have a hand in the outcome is the race's habit of throwing up mechanicals, crashes and horrendous weather.

The man most likely to capitalise on any misfortune to befall Cancellara is Tom Boonen. The Belgian has enjoyed a long rivalry with Cancellara, and has won at Roubaix on four occasions: 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

Boonen admitted that he found the going tough at Flanders, but feels that his form is returning just in time to see him challenge at Paris-Roubaix.

“It was the first time I did six hours in a final all season. I was very happy afterwards," he said.

"I was really good until 23km to go. I really felt I could win Flanders, but I missed a little extra that the other guys had who were in front of me in the final 30 minutes.
“I think I will be better in Roubaix. Roubaix is a special race.
"I am hopeful things will go better Sunday.”
Cancellara admitted that he was suffering after his victory on Sunday, but remained confident that he could recover in time for Sunday's race.
“I am slowly, slowly building for Sunday,” he told VeloNews.
“Roubaix is a different race than Flanders. Flanders was very hard this year, so for two days, all I did was recovery.”