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Pro bike: Matti Breschel's Saxo Bank Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL2 Paris-Roubaix

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Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) didn't get the redemption he was looking for on Sunday but he'll undoubtedly be back for another try at Paris-Roubaix.

Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) didn't get the redemption he was looking for on Sunday but he'll undoubtedly be back for another try at Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel's tires were clearly labeled as 'Specialized' but the base tape and font give them away as FMBs.

Breschel's tires were clearly labeled as 'Specialized' but the base tape and font give them away as FMBs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Zertz elastomeric inserts in the Roubaix SL2 fork are designed to squelch high-frequency vibration.

Zertz elastomeric inserts in the Roubaix SL2 fork are designed to squelch high-frequency vibration.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Alloy fork tips are bonded into longer-than-normal legs to provide 4mm more clearance than on consumer versions.

Alloy fork tips are bonded into longer-than-normal legs to provide 4mm more clearance than on consumer versions.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Gore's distinctive grub seal joins the end of the extra-long ferrule nose and the rearmost section of housing.

Gore's distinctive grub seal joins the end of the extra-long ferrule nose and the rearmost section of housing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel's 'Team Fit' Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL2 features a shorter head tube than standard production bikes.

Breschel's 'Team Fit' Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL2 features a shorter head tube than standard production bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The team's Paris-Roubaix wheels are built around DT Swiss 240s hubs.

The team's Paris-Roubaix wheels are built around DT Swiss 240s hubs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel runs very short reach on his SRAM Red DoubleTap levers.

Breschel runs very short reach on his SRAM Red DoubleTap levers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The swoopy rear end features another set of Zertz dampers for a smoother ride over the cobbles.

The swoopy rear end features another set of Zertz dampers for a smoother ride over the cobbles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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No surprises here: yet another set of Ambrosio rims on a Paris-Roubaix bike.

No surprises here: yet another set of Ambrosio rims on a Paris-Roubaix bike.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel spends a lot of his time perched atop Prologo's Scratch Pro TR saddle.

Breschel spends a lot of his time perched atop Prologo's Scratch Pro TR saddle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel's classics campaign hasn't gone as he had hoped with a botched bike change in Ronde van Vlaanderen and an abandonment in Paris-Roubaix with a bad knee.

Breschel's classics campaign hasn't gone as he had hoped with a botched bike change in Ronde van Vlaanderen and an abandonment in Paris-Roubaix with a bad knee.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel's Paris-Roubaix machine shows some scars from use, even before the race had begun.

Breschel's Paris-Roubaix machine shows some scars from use, even before the race had begun.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Derailleur cables are exposed but are still sealed from the elements thanks to a protective sheath.

Derailleur cables are exposed but are still sealed from the elements thanks to a protective sheath.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel prefers a traditional-bend handlebar.

Breschel prefers a traditional-bend handlebar.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Specialized doesn't call it this, but that's a BB30-compatible bottom bracket system hiding in there.

Specialized doesn't call it this, but that's a BB30-compatible bottom bracket system hiding in there.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The maxed-out brake pad adjustment on Breschel's SRAM Red caliper reveals the extra tire clearance underneath the fork crown.

The maxed-out brake pad adjustment on Breschel's SRAM Red caliper reveals the extra tire clearance underneath the fork crown.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Special full-length rear brake housing keeps the line sealed from contamination.

Special full-length rear brake housing keeps the line sealed from contamination.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Gore Ride-On Professional cables help guarantee all-weather shifting and brake performance.

Gore Ride-On Professional cables help guarantee all-weather shifting and brake performance.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel used a pair of aluminum Tacx Tao bottle cages on Sunday.

Breschel used a pair of aluminum Tacx Tao bottle cages on Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Breschel's Paris-Roubaix bike was fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette in the days leading up to Paris-Roubaix but were swapped for SRAM components before the team moved its camp from Kortrijk to Compiegne.

Breschel's Paris-Roubaix bike was fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace chain and cassette in the days leading up to Paris-Roubaix but were swapped for SRAM components before the team moved its camp from Kortrijk to Compiegne.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Clearance around the 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix Pro tubulars is quite good.

Clearance around the 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix Pro tubulars is quite good.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The SRAM Red brake caliper gleams in the sun after a dry training ride.

The SRAM Red brake caliper gleams in the sun after a dry training ride.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like most pros, Breschel prefers the stiffer steel cage option on his SRAM Red front derailleur for faster shifting.

Like most pros, Breschel prefers the stiffer steel cage option on his SRAM Red front derailleur for faster shifting.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A Shimano Dura-Ace chain was running through a SRAM Red rear derailleur on the Tuesday before Paris-Roubaix but was traded for a SRAM model later on.

A Shimano Dura-Ace chain was running through a SRAM Red rear derailleur on the Tuesday before Paris-Roubaix but was traded for a SRAM model later on.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Zertz inserts may damp the vibration but it's the distinctive shape of the seat stays that provides the vertical flex.

The Zertz inserts may damp the vibration but it's the distinctive shape of the seat stays that provides the vertical flex.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Danish national champion Matti Breschel's (Saxo Bank) Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL2 displayed all the usual tricks we've come to expect from bikes purpose-built to tackle the toughest one-day bicycle race in the world.

To Specialized's credit, many of them are already built in, including the slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles to provide more stable and predictable handling on the cobbles, greater tire clearances to fit higher-volume rubber and the Roubaix's unique Zertz elastomeric inserts and engineered flex zones for a smoother ride.

Breschel's team-edition build goes a few steps further, however, with fork legs that are cut extra-long before the alloy tips are bonded in plus unique rear dropouts that add another 4mm of room at either end – an absolute necessity in case of a muddy parcours. The special team-only geometry further differs from standard consumer versions with its shorter head tube that allows for a more aggressive riding position.

Equipment throughout is classic Paris-Roubaix. Wheels are built with 32-hole Ambrosio Nemesis aluminum box-section tubular rims, unmarked DT Swiss 240s hubs and DT Swiss 14/15g double-butted stainless steel spokes with brass nipples for durability over the rough ground. Wrapped around is a pair of FMB Paris-Roubaix Pro tubular tires with a voluminous 27mm width, fine file tread and ultra-supple casing for better grip on the cobbles.

Similarly, gear ratios are tuned to Paris-Roubaix's relatively flat profile with 53/44T chainrings on the Specialized FACT carbon crankset and a tight 11-23T Shimano Dura-Ace cassette, joined together with a Dura-Ace chain [a SRAM chain and cassette were swapped in after the photo shoot but before Breschel started the race].

Otherwise, the rest of the Breschel's build is essentially standard road fare including FSA Energy T traditional-bend alloy bars with single-wrapped Specialized Roubaix tape and a carbon fiber FSA K-Force SB25 seatpost. Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals were installed at the time these photos were taken but those were also traded in prior to the start for Speedplay's special Paris-Roubaix edition models with milled-out aluminum bodies.

Total weight is a Paris-Roubaix-tough – but still light – 7.85kg (17.31lb).

Breschel sought redemption Sunday after a less-than-perfect bike change sealed his fate at Ronde van Vlaanderen a week prior (mechanics switched him to red brake hoods to more easily identify his rigs atop the car). But the day unfortunately didn't go as planned as he eventually abandoned with a painful knee.

At this point it's still unclear what team Breschel will ride for next year but you can rest assured the young Dane will be back for another run for glory at Roubaix.

Complete bike specifications: