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Race tech: Inside the team buses at Paris-Roubaix

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It's hard to travel incognito when your team truck is wrapped like this.

It's hard to travel incognito when your team truck is wrapped like this. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Storage benches line one side of the Katusha team mechanics' bus.

Storage benches line one side of the Katusha team mechanics' bus. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol mechanics kept riders' sizing and tire pressure data stuck to the side of the bench inside the truck, right at eye level.

Lotto-Belisol mechanics kept riders' sizing and tire pressure data stuck to the side of the bench inside the truck, right at eye level. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol mechanics spliced a press-on brass Silca head on to this Lezyne floor pump.

Lotto-Belisol mechanics spliced a press-on brass Silca head on to this Lezyne floor pump. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This punch is handy for Lotto-Belisol's team mechanics when it comes time to attach race numbers.

This punch is handy for Lotto-Belisol's team mechanics when it comes time to attach race numbers. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol stores all of its bikes on the truck in one lower row, leaving the upper level for wheels.

Lotto-Belisol stores all of its bikes on the truck in one lower row, leaving the upper level for wheels. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's team truck is a fully capable, mobile workshop for the team.

Lotto-Belisol's team truck is a fully capable, mobile workshop for the team. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's wheel forks have two positions so the wheels can be stored closer together.

Lotto-Belisol's wheel forks have two positions so the wheels can be stored closer together. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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We're guessing Lotto-Belisol mechanics use this giant wrench for the team's Campagnolo cranksets.

We're guessing Lotto-Belisol mechanics use this giant wrench for the team's Campagnolo cranksets. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Movistar mechanics still had the sizing jig set up outside the team bus the day before Paris-Roubaix.

Movistar mechanics still had the sizing jig set up outside the team bus the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lights mounted underneath the rear door allow Lotto-Belisol trucks to continue working after dark.

Lights mounted underneath the rear door allow Lotto-Belisol trucks to continue working after dark. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's sizing jig is tucked away back inside the truck after all the bikes have been set up.

Lotto-Belisol's sizing jig is tucked away back inside the truck after all the bikes have been set up. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Most team mechanics keep a cut-off bottle and paint brush handy for applying solvent to drivetrains when washing bikes.

Most team mechanics keep a cut-off bottle and paint brush handy for applying solvent to drivetrains when washing bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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More wheels are stored in the forward end of the Katusha team mechanics' bus.

More wheels are stored in the forward end of the Katusha team mechanics' bus. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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All team mechanics have a master spreadsheet for setting up riders' bikes.

All team mechanics have a master spreadsheet for setting up riders' bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha soigneurs get these two lower compartments for food, coolers, and drinks.

Katusha soigneurs get these two lower compartments for food, coolers, and drinks. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A small table pulls out from the side of the Katusha team bus for mechanics.

A small table pulls out from the side of the Katusha team bus for mechanics. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This washer and dryer on the Katusha team bus both see heavy use during the season.

This washer and dryer on the Katusha team bus both see heavy use during the season. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol mechanics use a separate table so they have a little more surface area to work on.

Lotto-Belisol mechanics use a separate table so they have a little more surface area to work on. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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An air compressor and lots of hose are kept in this bay on the Lotto-Belisol team truck.

An air compressor and lots of hose are kept in this bay on the Lotto-Belisol team truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol team mechanics keep often-used fluids conveniently located at the edge of the truck.

Lotto-Belisol team mechanics keep often-used fluids conveniently located at the edge of the truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Graduated markings on Movistar's sizing jig helps ensure an accurate setup.

Graduated markings on Movistar's sizing jig helps ensure an accurate setup. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This extension on Movistar's sizing jig is for measuring the handlebar drop.

This extension on Movistar's sizing jig is for measuring the handlebar drop. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank stores its team bikes inside the truck with the forks turned at an angle.

Rabobank stores its team bikes inside the truck with the forks turned at an angle. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There is room for lots of bikes and wheels inside the Rabobank team truck.

There is room for lots of bikes and wheels inside the Rabobank team truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank mechanics scrape off loose bits of dried glue with a butter knife.

Rabobank mechanics scrape off loose bits of dried glue with a butter knife. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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After the glue is applied, this Rabobank mechanic spreads it out on the tire bed with an old toothbrush that's soaked in solvent. The solvent keeps the brush was getting gummy and also makes the glue easier to spread in a thin layer.

After the glue is applied, this Rabobank mechanic spreads it out on the tire bed with an old toothbrush that's soaked in solvent. The solvent keeps the brush was getting gummy and also makes the glue easier to spread in a thin layer. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tires await a coat of glue at the Rabobank team truck on the day before Paris-Roubaix. The repair stand is homemade.

Tires await a coat of glue at the Rabobank team truck on the day before Paris-Roubaix. The repair stand is homemade. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The inside of the Rabobank team truck.

The inside of the Rabobank team truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A washer and dryer are kept in the forward area of the Rabobank team truck.

A washer and dryer are kept in the forward area of the Rabobank team truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank riders' preferred air pressures were noted on this piece of paper tacked over the workbench.

Rabobank riders' preferred air pressures were noted on this piece of paper tacked over the workbench. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank's air compressor was connected to this handy inflator for accurate pressure readings. It doesn't shut off automatically like the handheld Craftsman compressors often used in 'cross circles but the digital readout provides finer resolution than typical analog dials.

Rabobank's air compressor was connected to this handy inflator for accurate pressure readings. It doesn't shut off automatically like the handheld Craftsman compressors often used in 'cross circles but the digital readout provides finer resolution than typical analog dials. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Rabobank rider's bike was fitted with a GoPro camera to collect footage for the team web site.

This Rabobank rider's bike was fitted with a GoPro camera to collect footage for the team web site. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Power and water are critical elements for team mechanics. This portable surge protector allows several team vehicles to operate out of a single outlet.

Power and water are critical elements for team mechanics. This portable surge protector allows several team vehicles to operate out of a single outlet. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The workbench inside the Rabobank team truck was crowded with wheels the day before Paris-Roubaix.

The workbench inside the Rabobank team truck was crowded with wheels the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bottle cages mounted to the side of the Rabobank workbench hold all sorts of doodads.

Bottle cages mounted to the side of the Rabobank workbench hold all sorts of doodads. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank mechanics reserve this lower storage bay of the team truck for cleaning supplies.

Rabobank mechanics reserve this lower storage bay of the team truck for cleaning supplies. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank soigneurs had a lot of food on hand for the team's recon ride the day before Paris-Roubaix.

Rabobank soigneurs had a lot of food on hand for the team's recon ride the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank's team mechanics glue a lot of tubulars. Keeping it in bulk inside this handy bottle is a lot easier than using individual tubes or even the large cans that many companies offer.

Rabobank's team mechanics glue a lot of tubulars. Keeping it in bulk inside this handy bottle is a lot easier than using individual tubes or even the large cans that many companies offer. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The spout of the Rabobank team mechanics' tubular glue bottle is actually a presta valve with the guts removed. If it gets clogs, it's easy to just replace the stem and carry on. Otherwise, a standard valve cap keeps the glue from curing prematurely.

The spout of the Rabobank team mechanics' tubular glue bottle is actually a presta valve with the guts removed. If it gets clogs, it's easy to just replace the stem and carry on. Otherwise, a standard valve cap keeps the glue from curing prematurely. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This is how Rabobank team mechanics apply glue to a rim.

This is how Rabobank team mechanics apply glue to a rim. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank mechanics use this homemade stand almost exclusively for applying tubular glue.

Rabobank mechanics use this homemade stand almost exclusively for applying tubular glue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The inside of the GreenEdge team truck. Note the lights mounted to the flip-up rear door. Mechanics work long hours.

The inside of the GreenEdge team truck. Note the lights mounted to the flip-up rear door. Mechanics work long hours. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Team mechanics do a lot of washing - and not just bikes. Team vehicles are kept immaculately clean, too.

Team mechanics do a lot of washing - and not just bikes. Team vehicles are kept immaculately clean, too. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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It's always important to have champagne on hand!

It's always important to have champagne on hand! (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Teams often use racks like this to stage bikes. It's a compact setup that can hold either complete bikes or bikes with the wheels removed. It also automatically ensures all the bikes are neatly lined up for photos.

Teams often use racks like this to stage bikes. It's a compact setup that can hold either complete bikes or bikes with the wheels removed. It also automatically ensures all the bikes are neatly lined up for photos. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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More drinks are stored down here.

More drinks are stored down here. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A look at one of the Astana mechanic's toolbox.

A look at one of the Astana mechanic's toolbox. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Astana's team truck is capable of storing an incredible amount of gear.

Astana's team truck is capable of storing an incredible amount of gear. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Astana ran yet another washer outside in the parking lot. A team of riders produces a lot of dirty clothes.

Astana ran yet another washer outside in the parking lot. A team of riders produces a lot of dirty clothes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front of the Astana team truck is reserved for the soigneurs.

The front of the Astana team truck is reserved for the soigneurs. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A washer and dryer are tucked into the lower bay of the Astana team truck. Sorry, we don't know what the black box is.

A washer and dryer are tucked into the lower bay of the Astana team truck. Sorry, we don't know what the black box is. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Team trucks have lots of room for storage. Tucked away down in this Astana vehicle is a compressor, various hoses, and lots of cleaning supplies.

Team trucks have lots of room for storage. Tucked away down in this Astana vehicle is a compressor, various hoses, and lots of cleaning supplies. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Astana team bus is equipped with a double shower stall so riders can get cleaned up even before they arrive back at the hotel after a race. Two riders are meant to be in there at once so teammates must clearly be comfortable with each other.

The Astana team bus is equipped with a double shower stall so riders can get cleaned up even before they arrive back at the hotel after a race. Two riders are meant to be in there at once so teammates must clearly be comfortable with each other. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Astana's mechanics travel around in a big Iveco box truck.

Astana's mechanics travel around in a big Iveco box truck. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Barriers are stored on the truck to keep bikes and staff in - and uninvited fans out.

Barriers are stored on the truck to keep bikes and staff in - and uninvited fans out. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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One of the Astana staff was collecting autographs of all of the team riders in books to be given as gifts.

One of the Astana staff was collecting autographs of all of the team riders in books to be given as gifts. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A critical piece of equipment on any team bus.

A critical piece of equipment on any team bus. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The driver's view of the Astana team bus.

The driver's view of the Astana team bus. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lots of drinks are kept cold in the Astana team bus refrigerator. There's a bottle of champagne in the freezer, too - just in case.

Lots of drinks are kept cold in the Astana team bus refrigerator. There's a bottle of champagne in the freezer, too - just in case. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Astana's bus driver has to navigate this beast through tight European roads.

Astana's bus driver has to navigate this beast through tight European roads. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Big, puffy seats for the Astana riders provide a cozy place on the bus as they travel to and from races.

Big, puffy seats for the Astana riders provide a cozy place on the bus as they travel to and from races. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Cofidis truck includes its own splitter for creating multiple water hoses.

The Cofidis truck includes its own splitter for creating multiple water hoses. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Cofidis truck is built by Renault.

The Cofidis truck is built by Renault. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank mechanics still had a lot of wheels to glue on the day before Paris-Roubaix.

Rabobank mechanics still had a lot of wheels to glue on the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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All of the team cars are fitted with custom built rack that can typically hold eight bikes each - plus lots of spare wheels.

All of the team cars are fitted with custom built rack that can typically hold eight bikes each - plus lots of spare wheels. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Compressed air and water hoses are kept on a reel in one of the Katusha team truck compartments.

Compressed air and water hoses are kept on a reel in one of the Katusha team truck compartments. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bike measuring jig used by the Katusha team.

The bike measuring jig used by the Katusha team. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bits up top are used to measure saddle height, setback, and angle along with handlebar reach and drop on Katusha's team bikes.

The bits up top are used to measure saddle height, setback, and angle along with handlebar reach and drop on Katusha's team bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Wheels are set in the respective trays on Katusha's measuring jig. There's another little bit at top right that plugs into the bearing preload cap on the team's Shimano cranksets to provide a reference point.

Wheels are set in the respective trays on Katusha's measuring jig. There's another little bit at top right that plugs into the bearing preload cap on the team's Shimano cranksets to provide a reference point. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha mechanics don't use a truck. Instead, they use a converted touring bus as there are fewer restrictions on European roads.

Katusha mechanics don't use a truck. Instead, they use a converted touring bus as there are fewer restrictions on European roads. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The inside of the Katusha team mechanics' bus is a little more cramped than the usual box truck but there's still plenty of room for bikes, wheels, and other gear. Two custom painted frames are ready to be built.

The inside of the Katusha team mechanics' bus is a little more cramped than the usual box truck but there's still plenty of room for bikes, wheels, and other gear. Two custom painted frames are ready to be built. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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GreenEdge's awning is a critical piece of equipment when mechanics have to work outside in the rain.

GreenEdge's awning is a critical piece of equipment when mechanics have to work outside in the rain. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The back of the GreenEdge team truck has pull-out tables for the mechanics.

The back of the GreenEdge team truck has pull-out tables for the mechanics. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This GreenEdge repair stand is customized with a couple of scraps from an old tubular to pad the bottom bracket shell.

This GreenEdge repair stand is customized with a couple of scraps from an old tubular to pad the bottom bracket shell. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The inside of the Cofidis truck is stocked with wheels on one side and bikes on the other.

The inside of the Cofidis truck is stocked with wheels on one side and bikes on the other. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bikes are stored in the Cofidis truck with the wheels removed.

Bikes are stored in the Cofidis truck with the wheels removed. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This fan keeps all of his rider cards in a shoulder bag - along with lots of pens.

This fan keeps all of his rider cards in a shoulder bag - along with lots of pens. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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It's normal for fans to gather at team hotels prior to a race to collect autographs. This fan keeps his rider cards neatly filed and organized. Check out the age of this Sylvain Chavanel pic.

It's normal for fans to gather at team hotels prior to a race to collect autographs. This fan keeps his rider cards neatly filed and organized. Check out the age of this Sylvain Chavanel pic. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A fan gathers an autograph at the Lotto-Belisol truck just as the team was returning from a recon ride.

A fan gathers an autograph at the Lotto-Belisol truck just as the team was returning from a recon ride. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The workbench inside the GreenEdge team truck provides a base for a vise and truing stand. Drawers for tools lock to keep them in place while the truck is in motion.

The workbench inside the GreenEdge team truck provides a base for a vise and truing stand. Drawers for tools lock to keep them in place while the truck is in motion. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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An increasing number of teams are collecting video footage for their own web sites.

An increasing number of teams are collecting video footage for their own web sites. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Repair stands like this are favored by team mechanics for their stability and ease of getting to both sides of the bike.

Repair stands like this are favored by team mechanics for their stability and ease of getting to both sides of the bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The wall mounted racks on Katusha's team mechanics' bus can easily be moved side-to-side.

The wall mounted racks on Katusha's team mechanics' bus can easily be moved side-to-side. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Paris-Roubaix is fought over by the riders on the road but there's also a tremendous support network in place to keep the massive machine that is WorldTour-level bicycle racing rolling along. From team buses and trucks to mechanics, soigneurs and fans, check out our image gallery for a look at what goes on behind the scenes at the world's greatest one-day road race.

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