There’s no question Thor Hushovd would like to be in with a chance to win Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. By all accounts his Cervélo TestTeam has done everything possible to make his ride as successful as it can be, starting with his bike. VeloNews stopped at the team hotel after Wednesday’s Scheldeprijs to have a look at their preparation.
The Cervélo bike of choice for Sunday’s event will be the R3. Normally, every bike in the team truck uses the same exact geometry and carbon lay up that can be found in the bikes available to the public at Cervélo dealerships. However for Paris-Roubaix, the company built a fleet of special R3s with longer chainstays. The one additional centimeter of chainstay length adds wheelbase for stability and improves tire clearance in case the course is muddy. Hushovd and the rest of his teammates will also ride Cervelo/3T “Classic” forks, which are full carbon but like the special chainstays sport additional tire clearance.
“Since the R-series was introduced, Cervélo has reached the podium of Paris-Roubaix every year, including two victories for the R3 and a dramatic third place finish for Thor Hushovd on the RS last year — despite a hand injury,” said Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen in a press release from the team.
The team’s R3s are fitted with SRAM Red component groups, Rotor cranks, 3T bars, stems, and seatposts, and Vittoria Pave Evo CG tires glued to Zipp 303 wheels. The whole team rides Speedplay Zero pedals and Elite bottle cages.
After almost a year of working on a new chain, SRAM has all its pro team riders cranking the new 1091-R road chain. SRAM’s Alex Wassmann said, “We loved the 1090R. It’s light and strong, and matched Red beautifully. Sixteen months ago we also began testing reshaped outer links to address running noise and overall durability. The 1091 is the result of that work. It’s lower and complex shaped shoulders flow better and handle hard gear changes better than anything we’ve tested.”
SRAM’s Michael Zellmann also pointed out the SRAM PG 1070 cassette on Hushovd’s bike. “We use this one (instead of the OG 1090 included with the Red group) in this sort of environment,” he said, referring to the potentially muddy conditions on Sunday. But he emphasized, “There’s really nothing special from our side that you can’t buy.” All the SRAM parts are stock pieces from the company’s standard product catalogue.
In addition to dialing in the bikes, Cervelo TestTeam riders have been trying new gear from their other sponsors. For example, depending on the weather, riders may also sport the new Gabba aero rain jacket, named after TestTeam rider Gabriel Rasch, who according to the team came up with the concept last year during the Cervélo TestTeam’s first test season.
“We all are very pleased with the newly developed equipment,” said TestTeam General Manger Joop Alberda. “Paris-Roubaix can come – we are ready.”