Footage helps explain why manufacturers devise bikes and components specifically for the cobbles


Paris-Roubaix, the race nicknamed the Hell of the North, is held by many pros to be the hardest one-day race on the calendar – and this slow-motion video from organisers ASO shows the pounding their bodies take as they pedal over the pavé.

Given your average professional cyclist doesn’t have a spare ounce of fat on them – at least, once any excesses of the off-season have been ridden off – it’s quite a sight to see the way their flesh ripples as they take on the cobbles.

That also helps explain why manufacturers develop specific bikes and components to try and soak up the vibrations – although as we reported yesterday, that didn’t turn out too well for Quick Step Floors rider Niki Terpstra.

> Specialized admits Niki Terpstra Paris-Roubaix bike failure was due to pre-production part in new Roubaix bike

The 29 cobbled sectors covering 55 kilometres out of a total distance of 257 kilometres are what give a unique character to the race, won this year by BMC Racing’s Greg van Avermaet at a record average speed of 45.2 kilometres an hour.

> Paris-Roubaix 2017 video round-up - including on-bike footage

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


Peowpeowpeowlasers [500 posts] 2 months ago

As Kev from Derek would say, "pound that rump like an angry butcher".