Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) had made a name for himself in the spring Classics with a previous victory at E3 Harelbeke and top-ten finishes at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, before more recently focusing fully on his GC ambitions in stage races in recent years.
However, with a crucial stage at this year's Tour de France over the Roubaix cobbles, Thomas had some leverage with the Team Sky management in returning to the cobbles for this year's Paris-Roubaix to his racing programme and could be a rider to watch on the day.
Thomas will be racing on a Pinarello Dogma K10, the Italian brand's rough road-specific frameset, which offers greater compliance and even rear suspension in an attempt to provide greater comfort over the rough cobbled roads and in turn, reduce rider fatigue.
Instead of the usual Continental tubulars the British team use for the majority of the season's races, for the cobbled Classics - as do many other WorldTour squads - Team Sky switch to the handmade FMB tubulars, which are designed specifically for Sunday's race and have built a reputation as the tyre to race on.
The Pinarello is paired with the usual full Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 groupset, with the only notable change being a switch from a 39-tooth inner chainring to a larger 44-tooth for the generally flat terrain of Paris-Roubaix.
Pinarello have created a custom rear derailleur hanger for the groupset. Usually a two-piece hanger from Shimano, the prototype will likely offer greater stiffness and Team Sky confirmed to BikeRadar that the team mechanics find the part useful.
As well as the automatic, electronically controlled rear suspension on the frameset, the Dogma K10 also offers increased compliance from the flattened seat stays, which adds further flex and comfort to the rear end of the bike.
At the front end of the bike, Thomas uses the usual MOST components although double-wrapping his handlebars in an attempt to dampen some of the vibrations of the cobbles.
Aluminium accessory specialists K-Edge provides Thomas with an out-front computer mount and matching chain catcher.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at the Welshman's bike.
Frameset: Pinarello Dogma K10
Fork: Pinarello Onda F10 with Fork Flap
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100, 11-28
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 with Stages power meter, 175mm crank arms, 53/44 chainrings
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100, C40
Tyres: FMB Paris-Roubaix, 27mm tubular
Handlebars: MOST Jaguar, 380mm
Stem: MOST Tiger, 135mm
Tape/grips: MOST, double-wrapped
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Saddle: Fizik Arione
Seat post: Pinarello Dogma K10
Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi with additional grip tape
Other accessories: K-Edge out-front computer mount, K-Edge chain catcher
Rider height: 1.83m
Bottom bracket to top of saddle: 780mm
Tip of saddle nose to stem at handlebars: 575mm
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