This article first appeared on BikeRadar
Bike companies have been sectioning off their road bikes in various categories: climbing bikes for the mountains, aero bikes for the fast and flat races, endurance bikes for the rough roads, adventure bikes for the gravel, and on and on. On Sunday at the roughest road race of them all, however, it was an aero bike that won the day at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix when Orica-GreenEdge's Mathew Hayman won aboard a Scott Foil.
As with most racers in the 258km contest from Compiegne to Roubaix in northern France, Hayman had 28mm tubulars as a concession to the more than 52km of pavé. He also used 53/44 chainrings instead of the standard 53/39. Other than that, however, his bike build was that of a criterium racer's: aero wheels, aero frame, thin saddle and a single layer of handlebar tape.
Hayman's mud-splattered aero bike stood in contrast to the many other endurance machines that came into the old velodrome in Roubaix. Many had double bar tape. Some had an extra brake layer mounted on the handlebar top. Some had 30mm tubulars.
Hayman's use of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 also contrasted to the publicized positions of race favourites Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara, who opted for mechanical Dura-Ace.
While early aero bikes earned a reputation for being overly stiff and harsh — with the original Scott Foil falling somewhat in this category — the new Foil was completely overhauled with increased compliance being a goal for the Swiss company.
Towards the end of the race, Hayman was clear in a group that included four-time race winner Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and Ian Stannard (Team Sky). After various attacks came to naught, Boonen led the group into the final metres, and Hayman was able to come around in the sprint for the win.
Full specifications of Mathew Hayman's Scott Foil
Frameset: Scott Foil
Stem: Integrated Scott Foil
Handlebar: PRO alloy
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct-mount
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct-mount
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-9070
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 + SW-R610 sprint shifters (on drops)
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
Crankset: SRM Shimano 11-speed, 53/44T
Pedals: Shimano 9000 Dura-Ace
Wheelset: Shimano C-50tubular
Tubulars: Continental Competition Pro LTD, 28mm
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Seatpost: Ritchey Foil
Computer: SRM Power Control 8 (not pictured)