Watch videos of Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte riding broken wheels at Paris-Roubaix
Riders manage to ride safely to a stop after carbon rims break in half.
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Paris-Roubaix is a brutal event that damages bikes and bodies as the race flies across dozens of cobble sectors. On Sunday, Jumbo-Visma riders had two rear wheels break in half under them as they rode flat tires across the pavé.
Spectators caught cellphone videos of both Wout van Aert and Christophe Laporte as they came to a stop with their rear wheels folded at different points in the race.
Malheureux accident de Christophe Laporte sur le secteur pavé de Saint-Python, plus de peur que ne mal c'est là que l'on reconnaît un professionnel, courage à tous les coureurs !! @lequipe @France2tv @Paris_Roubaix @LAPORTEChristop pic.twitter.com/JCaaduiPW8
— haegeman nolan (@nolan_haegeman) April 17, 2022
Van Aert also suffered multiple flat tires, and ended up riding four different bikes during the course of the race.
Van Aert cracked his rear wheel in the critical Arenberg Forest sector after he flatted his tire.
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“I rode near the front of the group when entering the forest but I rode too much to the side and quickly hit a rock,” he said. “I rode 50-60kph over those cobbles on a dead flat and damaged my wheel.
“When I halted my wheel broke to pieces and I took Timo [Roosen]’s bike. The next half hour was chaos. I had to stop again to switch to my spare bike. Later I punctured again. That’s part of the race. I definitely missed Christophe in this part of the race but he had bad luck earlier. That’s a shame because together we would’ve had more options. Every classic is hard, but Roubaix is utter chaos and a sufferfest until the finish line. Everyone had their bit of bad luck. Everyone has to stay calm and that’s the beauty of the race, and that’s why I love it so much.”
Jumbo-Visma races on Shimano wheels. Jumbo-Visma communications manager Ard Bierens told VeloNews that the wheel damage was caused in both situations by riding on flat tires.
Both were “moving forward for a while with flat tires, so practically on the rim. Wout and Christophe are also not among the lightweights,” Bierens said with a smile and a wink.
No other Jumbo-Visma riders broke wheels, Bierens said.
Shimano has not yet had a chance to look at the wheels, as they are in the team’s possession.
“We always have an open line and from both sides we’ll do our homework to discuss the findings together,” Bierens said. “The wheels are currently still with us, so Shimano couldn’t do a proper inspection yet on the specific wheels.”