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Bikes of Paris-Roubaix

Road Bike 2 853

1973 Merckx photo:

Paris-Roubaix is coming up on Sunday, and I am always interested to see the various teams’ equipment choices for racing on the cobbles. Cervelo posted today about the bike setups for the Test Team, based on R3 frames with 1cm longer chainstays to allow for mud clearance. The article also discusses the Vittoria tubulars that they plan to use. I am always amazed that any road tires can withstand some of the roughest pavé sections in the race.

The cobble sections of the “Queen of the Classics” are a great testing ground for equipment sponsors. CyclingNews points out that select Saxo Bank riders will be using prototype Project Black” bikes from Specialized on Sunday. The bikes are likely to be the next evolution of the S-works Roubaix, so there is no better place to put them to the test than in the race that they were named for. VeloNews has more about Fabian Cancellara’s “Project black” bike, including a nice photo gallery that shows the details (the internal cable routing is a nice feature missing from the current Roubaix SL2). The other “classics bike” galleries at VeloNews are good too, so check them all out while you are there.

While I was searching for some of the bikes for this year’s race, I ran across Les Amis de Paris Roubaix (Friends of Paris-Roubaix).  That site has shots of some of the equipment that will be used in the 2010 race, as well as great photos of classic bikes from the race’s history. Eddy Merckx’s 1973 race winning bike pictured above is just one of many on the site that caught my attention. In addition to the photos, the page has interesting history pages if you can read French (or rely on the Google translation like I did).

In addition to the usual sources for racing news, I will be following Rich Hincapie’s coverage of the race on Twitter and the Hincapie Sportswear blog. His recent posts from Belgium have been interesting, so I am looking forward to his account of the race on Sunday…especially if his brother can pull off a win and bring a cobblestone trophy home to Greenville.

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