The 259km road from Compiegne to Roubaix includes more than 50 kilometers of pavé and mechanics working for the 25 teams lining up to take on the Hell of the North will have to take special steps to ensure riders’ success on Sunday. RadioShack riders will be lining up on bikes uniquely prepared for the world’s toughest single-day bike race.
Well in advance, team bicycle sponsor Trek built a run of special bikes, team mechanic Julian Devries built a fleet of wheels and Hutchinson supplied oversized tubulars.
Rider Thomas Vaitkus will likely be the team’s best hope on Sunday. He’s known to be powerful and component supplier SRAM stepped in with its S900 crankset fitted with stiff time trial chainrings and a stainless steel Red front derailleur. The rest of his component selection is relatively stock, including a Bontrager Race XXX Lite stem and aluminum Race X Lite handlebar.
Each year Devries hand builds special wheels for his team, based on Bontrager rims and hubs. These are then wrapped in Hutchinson tubulars with extra volume for cushion and aggressive file tread for traction.
Trek’s contribution to the mix includes a batch of frames built with special dropouts in the frame and fork. The dropouts reposition the wheels 4mm away from the frame, offering added clearance at the fork crown, chainstays, and seatstays.