Cancellara’s Lieutenant Stijn Devolder Out of Paris-Roubaix


BRUSSELS, April 11, 2014 (AFP) – Reigning champion Fabian Cancellara’s main
lieutenant Stijn Devolder has pulled out of Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix race due to
a variety of injuries.
Belgian Trek rider Devolder, the 2008 and 2009 Tour of Flanders winner,
crashed three times in this year’s Flanders race last Sunday before trailing
home down in 86th place, almost 10 minutes back from Cancellara, who retained
his title.
The 34-year-old Devolder has not recovered from the injuries he suffered to
his left side, particularly his elbow, and will now have to miss the ‘Hell of
the North’.
“Stijn was supposed to be Cancellara’s first lieutenant, his presence would
have given us several tactical options,” said Trek sports director Dirk DeMol
on Friday.
“But we have no choice, yesterday (Thursday) he could barely hold his
“It wouldn’t be reasonable to make him take the risk of falling again. We
need seven valid men for Fabian.”
Cancellara is going for a second Flanders-Roubaix double in a row but will
again have to do without his main help, just as he had to in Flanders as
Devolder’s race was ruined by his three crashes.
It means Cancellara will be more vulnerable to the multiple cards his main
rival Tom Boonen’s Omega Pharma team can play with the likes of Niki Terpstra,
Stijn Vandenbergh and Zdenek Stybar considered potential winners.
Devolder is not the only Belgian to have had to pull out of the race as
Jurgen Roelandts has also succumbed to injury.
The 28-year-old, who finished third in last year’s Tour of Flanders, fell
badly in this year’s crash-filled edition of that race last weekend.
“I have terrible pain in my lower back and my wrist and shoulder still
hurt,” Roelandts, who had been set to lead Lotto at the ‘Queen of the
Classics’, told the Flemish Sporza television station.