Paris-Roubaix tech: Mavic neutral support

Mavic neutral support works to keep riders on the road during the Hell of the North.

There’s a reason why Paris-Roubaix is known as L’Enfer du Nord – the Hell of the North. More often than not, the weather is awful and the roads are worse.

Every single sector of pavé has its own characteristics, and every single sector can mean the end of the road for any number of riders. Flat tires are a virtual certainty, no matter how fat the tubular tires or how much sealant is injected into them.

But not if Mavic’s SSC team has anything to do with it. Started in 1973, Mavic’s neutral support program kicks into high gear for Paris-Roubaix with the goal of giving every rider a chance to succeed and reach the finish line free of mechanical hindrances.

In fact, Mavic’s media relations manager, Michel Lethenet, once told VeloNews that race organizers confessed that they’d be hard pressed to continue hosting the race if it weren’t for Mavic’s neutral mechanical support on course.

In the next print edition of VeloNews, we’ll have a complete timeline of Mavic’s participation in this year’s Paris-Roubaix. For now, enjoy the photos — and try to imagine the chaos on the cobbles.