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Pro Bike: William Bonnet's BBox-Bouygues Telecom Colnago Cross Prestige

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BBox-Bouygues Telecom rider William Bonnet will use a full-blown 'cross bike for this year's Paris-Roubaix.

BBox-Bouygues Telecom rider William Bonnet will use a full-blown 'cross bike for this year's Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team mechanic wrap the valve stem with a bit of electrical tape to keep it from rattling in the deep-section rims - Bonnet will use standard aluminum box-section rims for Paris-Roubaix, though.

Team mechanic wrap the valve stem with a bit of electrical tape to keep it from rattling in the deep-section rims - Bonnet will use standard aluminum box-section rims for Paris-Roubaix, though.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The additional strut in between the top tube and seat tube is normally intended to make for easier shouldering during 'cross.

The additional strut in between the top tube and seat tube is normally intended to make for easier shouldering during 'cross.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Top tube cable routing will protect the lines from mud and debris.

Top tube cable routing will protect the lines from mud and debris.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A standard Campagnolo Record rear derailleur will change gears across the tightly spaced cassette.

A standard Campagnolo Record rear derailleur will change gears across the tightly spaced cassette.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The FSA stem is angled aggressively downwards to make up for the steerer-mounted housing stop.

The FSA stem is angled aggressively downwards to make up for the steerer-mounted housing stop.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bonnet's Campagnolo Record crankarms are fitted with Time's previous-generation RXS pedals.

Bonnet's Campagnolo Record crankarms are fitted with Time's previous-generation RXS pedals.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Top-mount brake levers usually reserved for 'cross let Bonnet adjust his speed while bouncing along on the cobbles.

Top-mount brake levers usually reserved for 'cross let Bonnet adjust his speed while bouncing along on the cobbles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like most riders at Paris-Roubaix, Bonnet is using 53/44T chainrings.

Like most riders at Paris-Roubaix, Bonnet is using 53/44T chainrings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bonnet's bike includes a custom chain watcher whose design has now been mimicked by others in more modern machined aluminum.

Bonnet's bike includes a custom chain watcher whose design has now been mimicked by others in more modern machined aluminum.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Teams that would normally run one of Elite's carbon bottle cages are using the company's Ciussi Gel model for a tighter grip on the cobbles.

Teams that would normally run one of Elite's carbon bottle cages are using the company's Ciussi Gel model for a tighter grip on the cobbles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Since Bonnet's 'cross bike is intended for big knobbies, there's more than enough clearance for big road tubulars with room to spare.

Since Bonnet's 'cross bike is intended for big knobbies, there's more than enough clearance for big road tubulars with room to spare.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The carbon seat stays offer heaps of tire clearance.

The carbon seat stays offer heaps of tire clearance.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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TRP's toe-adjustable Inplace Adjust pad holders are designed for Shimano-standard pads so the Campagnolo ones have to be jammed in a bit to fit.

TRP's toe-adjustable Inplace Adjust pad holders are designed for Shimano-standard pads so the Campagnolo ones have to be jammed in a bit to fit.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bonnet will use FSA's compact bend for Paris-Roubaix.

Bonnet will use FSA's compact bend for Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bonnet used deep-section Campagnolo Bora Ultra carbon tubulars for the Scheldeprijs race just before Paris-Roubaix but won't use them on Sunday.

Bonnet used deep-section Campagnolo Bora Ultra carbon tubulars for the Scheldeprijs race just before Paris-Roubaix but won't use them on Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)

The UCI technical rule mandating production-only gear for riders in competition has prompted more riders this year to use full-blown 'cross chassis to tackle the cobbles, in contrast to the often Frankenstein-like custom creations created in years past. One such rider is BBox-Bouygues Telecom rider William Bonnet.

Despite a weather forecast calling for good conditions this Sunday, the pavé still places greater demands than what most standard road fare can handle. Compared to Bonnet's usual Colnago CX-1, the Cross Prestige he intends to use for Paris-Roubaix boasts a longer wheelbase and slightly more relaxed angles for more stable handling, a taller bottom bracket for additional clearance (several sections of pavé are notoriously crowned), and most importantly, plenty of room to run high-volume tubular tyres without fear of them clogging up with mud.

Naturally, the 'cross-specific frame and greater clearances also dictate the use of cantilever-type brakes but Bonnet's TRP EuroX Carbon arms don't actually add any weight as compared to the Campagnolo Record ones that came off – and in fact, they may even be lighter were it not for the supplemental Cane Creek Crosstop levers mounted on the FSA Wing Pro Compact bars.

Matching TRP Inplace Adjust pad holders allow for proper toe-in adjustment for better braking, too, though team mechanics did manage to jam Campagnolo brake blocks into the Shimano-specific slots.

Other bits that may prove beneficial in case of muddy conditions include the top tube-routed cables that should help maintain shifting performance and the custom brazed chain watcher to help keep Bonnet moving forward on the cobbles.

Riders oftentimes reserve such special machines just for Paris-Roubaix but Bonnet actually raced his Cross Prestige at the preceding Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs races as well, presumably to log as many hours as possible on it in competition before the big day.

Campagnolo Bora Ultra deep-section carbon tubulars and narrow Hutchinson tires were installed the morning of Scheldeprijs (which is pan-flat from start to finish and with virtually no cobbles) but we fully anticipate something more traditional before Sunday's race sets off from Compiegne, France.

Gearing is standard-issue Paris-Roubaix with 53/44T chainrings and a relatively tight 11-25T cassette.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Colnago Cross Prestige, size 54s
Fork: Colnago cyclo-cross carbon
Headset: Colnago integrated
Stem: FSA OS-115, 13cm x -17°
Handlebars: FSA Wing Pro Compact, 44cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: Colnago cork, double wrapped
Front brake: TRP EuroX Carbon with Campagnolo pads
Rear brake: TRP EuroX Carbon with Campagnolo pads
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s w/ Cane Creek Crosstop top-mount levers
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 11s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 11s
Shift levers: Campagnolo Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s
Cassette: Campagnolo Record 11s, 11-25T
Chain: Campagnolo Record 11s
Crankset: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque ST, 175mm, 53/44T
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque
Pedals: Time RXS steel
Wheelset: Campagnolo Bora Ultra tubular
Front tyre: Hutchinson tubular
Rear tyre: Hutchinson tubular
Saddle: Prologo Scratch Pro TR
Seat post: Colnago carbon
Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi Gel
Computer: n/a
Other accessories: n/a

Rider's height: 1.85m (6' 1")
Rider's weight: 78kg (172lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 785mm
Saddle setback: 80mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 580mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 540mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 602mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 110mm
Head tube length: 143mm
Top tube length: 565mm
Total bicycle weight: 7.66kg (16.89lb)