It's the weekend, so why not take a ten minute break from painting the shed or fixing inner tubes and have a look at this great vid put together by the chaps at Omega Pharma - Quick Step at the Paris-Roubaix. Their man Tom Boonen soloed to victory for a record-equalling fourth win, of course, and it's fascinating to see the race pan out from the point of view of the team on the road.
It's not just a case of Tom shooting off up the road and everyone trying to catch him, of course. Anyone who's watched the race - either in person or on the telly - knows that there's masses of organisation and any number of vehicles on the cobbles too, supporting the riders and reporting on the race. "Paris-Roubaix is all about preparation", the vid tells us, and certainly the teams leave nothing to chance, although the race being what it is it's always going to be a lottery as to whether your car will be around when you need it; in the vid we see Iljo Keisse climb off after a puncture - and subsequent wait for a replacement wheel - has put him out of contention.
Once Tom's made his move there's a car with him all the time, handing him gels and bottles, the latter of which seem to be very difficult to pass given the amount of time both rider and support crew spend holding on to them... They're also handy for giving your man a Madison-esque shove up the road every few kilometres, whilst shouting support. "This is an important section. Try to chase those motorbikes" was one of our favourites.
Anyway, enjoy. It's a different angle on the race and well worth a watch.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.