Paris-Roubaix: Boonen and Devolder get special bikes, pre-ride course
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Paris-Roubaix: Boonen and Devolder get special bikes, pre-ride course

by VeloNation Press at 12:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Spring Classics, Track, Paris-Roubaix

Quick Step's Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder will be equipped with new Merckx bikes for Paris-Roubaix this Sunday in an effort to give them every possible advantage in this year's "Hell of the North". The rest of the team is also set to receive special equipment for the brutal French race, an event where a heavy dose of cobblestones dish out the ultimate test of attrition for the riders.

"Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder will have two new bikes that have a longer frame than their normal race bike", says Quick Step mechanic Kevin Desmedt to 7sur7. "Others will have their normal bike, but they will be adapted to the circumstances to better absorb shock."

For the 2010 edition Quick Step will again be defending a win by Tom Boonen from the previous year, but this time the Belgian will have a chance to equal compatriot Roger De Vlaeminck's record of four Paris-Roubaix wins.

By virtue of Boonen's UCI world ranking, the Quick Step team car will have the advantage of riding in the first spot behind the peloton, something that can come in handy with all of the punishment being dealt out to the riders and their bikes.  Flat tires, lost bottles and broken equipment are commonplace in Paris-Roubaix, and Desmedt said as a precaution the team will also be filling up the VIP cars with spare wheels and bottles.

On Friday Quick Step will do a reconnaissance ride of the Paris-Roubaix parcours. The riders will cover some of the cobblestone sectors by car before they begin their training ride at the infamous Troueé d’Arenberg sector of cobblestones, where the race typically has its first big selection.


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