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Boonen takes his second Paris-Roubaix aboard surprisingly standard machine

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Tom Boonen took his second Paris-Roubaix victory

Tom Boonen took his second Paris-Roubaix victory
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Boonen had several bikes at his disposal

Boonen had several bikes at his disposal
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Think Dugast tires are rare?

Think Dugast tires are rare?
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It's already tough to be Tom Boonen sometimes

It's already tough to be Tom Boonen sometimes
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High Road's George Hincapie

High Road's George Hincapie
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Filippo Pozzato also decided

Filippo Pozzato also decided
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Slipstream's Julian Dean

Slipstream's Julian Dean
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Simple hose clamps

Simple hose clamps
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Like Quick Step, Gerolsteiner riders

Like Quick Step, Gerolsteiner riders
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How many spares is too many?

How many spares is too many?
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Tom Boonen took his second Paris-Roubaix victory in a three-up sprint aboard the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL.

Tom Boonen took his second Paris-Roubaix victory in a three-up sprint aboard the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Boonen had several bikes at his disposal but relied upon the softer ride of the Roubaix, rather than his standard Tarmac SL2, to tame the cobbles.

Boonen had several bikes at his disposal but relied upon the softer ride of the Roubaix, rather than his standard Tarmac SL2, to tame the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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And you thought Dugast tires were rare? Try finding a set of FM-Boyaux tires like what was on Boonen's bike straight through from start to finish.

And you thought Dugast tires were rare? Try finding a set of FM-Boyaux tires like what was on Boonen's bike straight through from start to finish. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Boonen ran long 177.5mm crankarms.

Boonen ran long 177.5mm crankarms. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Like most riders today, Boonen opted for a rather largish 53/46T chainring combination.

Like most riders today, Boonen opted for a rather largish 53/46T chainring combination. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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It's already tough to be Tom Boonen sometimes and his second Paris-Roubaix win will certainly make it harder (at least in this respect!).

It's already tough to be Tom Boonen sometimes and his second Paris-Roubaix win will certainly make it harder (at least in this respect!). (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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High Road's George Hincapie passed over his specially built Paris-Roubaix machine and instead went with his usual Giant TCR Advanced SL Team.

High Road's George Hincapie passed over his specially built Paris-Roubaix machine and instead went with his usual Giant TCR Advanced SL Team. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Filippo Pozzato also decided to go with something a little more familiar as he reverted back to the bike he used at Milano-Sanremo, at least for the first 100km or so.

Filippo Pozzato also decided to go with something a little more familiar as he reverted back to the bike he used at Milano-Sanremo, at least for the first 100km or so. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pippo's flowery theme carries through to the top tube design (and check out the sparkly paint).

Pippo's flowery theme carries through to the top tube design (and check out the sparkly paint). (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Want your bike to look like Pozzato's? Maybe you should get a hold of these guys.

Want your bike to look like Pozzato's? Maybe you should get a hold of these guys. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pozzato opted for deep-section carbon tubulars…

Pozzato opted for deep-section carbon tubulars… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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...and surprisingly skinny 23mm-wide tires at the start.

...and surprisingly skinny 23mm-wide tires at the start. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pozzato's bottles wore fabric covers… perhaps for a better grip?

Pozzato's bottles wore fabric covers… perhaps for a better grip? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A Liquigas team mechanic preps Pozzato's bike the day before Paris-Roubaix.

A Liquigas team mechanic preps Pozzato's bike the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A keen eye, a sharp pick and a bottle of glue helps extend the life of tubulars and keeps punctures at bay.

A keen eye, a sharp pick and a bottle of glue helps extend the life of tubulars and keeps punctures at bay. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pozzato's secondary bike was rather similar to the main rig.

Pozzato's secondary bike was rather similar to the main rig. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Even the spare used carbon tubular rims, although these were decidedly shallower and fitted with bigger tires.

Even the spare used carbon tubular rims, although these were decidedly shallower and fitted with bigger tires. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pippo attacked the cobbles without the benefit of any extra handlebar tape or padding.

Pippo attacked the cobbles without the benefit of any extra handlebar tape or padding. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Pozzato heads to the starting line.

Pozzato heads to the starting line. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Other Liquigas riders called upon the Cannondale SuperSix like Pozzato but the setups were notably more conservative.

Other Liquigas riders called upon the Cannondale SuperSix like Pozzato but the setups were notably more conservative. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cannondale's BB30 integrated crank-and-bottom bracket system was chastised at first but is now rapidly catching on.

Cannondale's BB30 integrated crank-and-bottom bracket system was chastised at first but is now rapidly catching on. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Slipstream's Julian Dean and his teammates also passed over the Paris-Roubaix-specific bikes for the standard machines.

Slipstream's Julian Dean and his teammates also passed over the Paris-Roubaix-specific bikes for the standard machines. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The entire Slipstream team ran carbon rims, including the Zipp 303 up front…

The entire Slipstream team ran carbon rims, including the Zipp 303 up front… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…and the slightly deeper 404 in back.

…and the slightly deeper 404 in back. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Tires measured 27mm wide in the rear but some riders (including Magnus Backstedt) went with a slightly narrower 24mm front.

Tires measured 27mm wide in the rear but some riders (including Magnus Backstedt) went with a slightly narrower 24mm front. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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46T inner chainrings were the standard for the day.

46T inner chainrings were the standard for the day. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Carbon rails on a Paris-Roubaix bike? Sure, why not?

Carbon rails on a Paris-Roubaix bike? Sure, why not? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Simple hose clamps kept the Slipstream posts from slipping.

Simple hose clamps kept the Slipstream posts from slipping. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Backstedt is a big guy and is hard on equipment but apparently felt the Zipp 303 offered enough of an advantage to run it up front.

Backstedt is a big guy and is hard on equipment but apparently felt the Zipp 303 offered enough of an advantage to run it up front. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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All of the Slipstream rear wheels were built with their usual PowerTap SL 2.4 hubs.

All of the Slipstream rear wheels were built with their usual PowerTap SL 2.4 hubs. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Backstedt went with the heavier (but apparently faster) Oval Concepts fork with its unique JetStream twin-blade configuration.

Backstedt went with the heavier (but apparently faster) Oval Concepts fork with its unique JetStream twin-blade configuration. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Backstedt''s bars were well-padded and he also swapped out the standard Shimano hoods with aftermarket ones made by Hudz.

Backstedt''s bars were well-padded and he also swapped out the standard Shimano hoods with aftermarket ones made by Hudz. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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There are no carbon rails to be found on Backstedt's rig but he did run a carbon post.

There are no carbon rails to be found on Backstedt's rig but he did run a carbon post. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Backstedt's seat tube is fitted with a little bit of insurance.

Backstedt's seat tube is fitted with a little bit of insurance. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Slipstream's Mike 'Meatball' Friedman isn't shy of his nickname.

Slipstream's Mike 'Meatball' Friedman isn't shy of his nickname. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Like Quick Step, Gerolsteiner riders relied heavily upon Specialized's S-Works Roubaix SL model to ease the pain of the cobbles.

Like Quick Step, Gerolsteiner riders relied heavily upon Specialized's S-Works Roubaix SL model to ease the pain of the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Even in stock form, there's plenty of tire clearance at either end of Gerolsteiner's bikes.

Even in stock form, there's plenty of tire clearance at either end of Gerolsteiner's bikes. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Mock them if you must, but Specialized's shock-absorbed Zertz inserts work, and quite well at that.

Mock them if you must, but Specialized's shock-absorbed Zertz inserts work, and quite well at that. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Roubaix SL seat stays still strike us as impossibly fragile-looking, but looks are deceiving; a similar set carried Tom Boonen to victory today.

The Roubaix SL seat stays still strike us as impossibly fragile-looking, but looks are deceiving; a similar set carried Tom Boonen to victory today. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The stays even look radical from this angle, too.

The stays even look radical from this angle, too. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Ambrosio was one of the most prevalent rim brands found among the peloton at Paris-Roubaix.

Ambrosio was one of the most prevalent rim brands found among the peloton at Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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There was no reason for climbing gears today but Gerolsteiner mechanics are apparently fond of brass spoke head washers.

There was no reason for climbing gears today but Gerolsteiner mechanics are apparently fond of brass spoke head washers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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This Gerolsteiner rider went with dual top-mount levers for more control on the cobbles.

This Gerolsteiner rider went with dual top-mount levers for more control on the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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How many spares is too many? At Paris-Roubaix, the answer is 'you can never have enough'.

How many spares is too many? At Paris-Roubaix, the answer is 'you can never have enough'. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Ever wonder what the rider sign in sheet looks like? Well, here you go.

Ever wonder what the rider sign in sheet looks like? Well, here you go. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The riders didn't hit the first real section of pavé until quite a ways into Paris-Roubaix, but race organizers gave the peloton just a little taste right at the start line.

The riders didn't hit the first real section of pavé until quite a ways into Paris-Roubaix, but race organizers gave the peloton just a little taste right at the start line. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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This Paris-Roubaix broom wagon (there were more than one) can carry quite a few bikes.

This Paris-Roubaix broom wagon (there were more than one) can carry quite a few bikes. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)

Race Tech: Paris-Roubaix, April 14, 2008

Paris-Roubaix spat in the face of the weather gods today as Sunday morning brought crisp and clean air, a helpful tailwind, blue skies and plenty of sunshine after a short stint of rain overnight. Cool temperatures warranted the use of arm, and occasionally knee, warmers but there were no storm clouds in sight.

As a result, many teams and riders correspondingly adjusted their equipment selections somewhat and the intermediate time checks reflected the higher speeds relative to the predicted average schedule. In fact, the majority of the Specialized-sponsored Quick Step and Gerolsteiner team riders set off on rather stock-looking S-Works Roubaix SL frames, including eventual winner Tom Boonen. We would imagine that they were probably reinforced with additional carbon plies as is usual with the big Belgian and the geometry almost certainly mimicked that of his usual Tarmac SL2. The shock-absorbing Zertz inserts were clearly in place front and rear.

As expected, though, both sets of team machines were primarily outfitted with traditional box-section aluminum tubulars with Quick Step running rarely seen (and fat) FMB tubulars. Boonen's gearing was along the lines of most of the other riders in the field with a 53/46T combination up front and a tight 11-23T cassette.

As rumored, Team High Road's George Hincapie passed over his special road-'cross hybrid creation in favor of his more familiar Giant TCR Advanced SL Team, complete with tight tire clearances and more aggressive handling.

Hincapie also started out with a pair of carbon fiber deep-section HED Stinger tubular wheels and he stuck with at least the front one all the way through to the finish line. Most importantly, though, it was reported that Hincapie's standard road machine simply fit and felt better and he apparently didn't want to stray away from what was familiar for such an important day. Hincapie ended up with another high finish in ninth but sadly, the cobblestone trophy escapes his grasp for yet another year.

Similarly, Liquigas star Filippo Pozzato already had his designated Paris-Roubaix ride all settled in just hours before the race but decided to revert to the custom painted Cannondale SuperSix he used in Milano-Sanremo last month, at least for the first 100km or so at which point the team made plans for a bike change.

Pippo's machine was decidedly standard with few, if any, concessions made for the cobbles. The deep-section carbon tubulars were wrapped with decidedly narrow 23mm Vittoria tubulars, there was no additional padding on his handlebar, and the bar tops were free of any supplemental brake levers.

As it turns out, though, the second bike wasn't actually all that different anyway. The bars were still single-wrapped (with rather thin fi'zi:k tape, no less), there were still no extra brake levers (Pozzato was one of the first to use them in the past), and the rims were still carbon tubulars. The rim profile was far shallower on that bike, though, and tires were upsized to significantly fatter 27mm-wide Vittoria Special Pavè TT tubulars.

2004 Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt (Slipstream-Chipotle) is undoubtedly hard on equipment yet his bike (and the bikes of his teammates) was rife with carbon fiber. Moreover, they weren't even the special machines that team sponsor Felt had created just for Paris-Roubaix as evidenced by the tight clearances front and rear and standard Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers.

Surprisingly, the team also decided to go with Zipp carbon tubular wheels across the board, including a rear 404 and a slightly shallower 303 up front. Team mechanics fitted those wheels with Vittoria Pavé EVO-CG tires in 24mm and 27mm casing widths front and rear, respectively. Rear wheels were also built around the team's usual PowerTap SL 2.4 hubs across the board.

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