German Pro-Continental team Bora-Argon 18 will line up Paris-Roubaix with special edition Gallium's ready for the 57.5km of pavé in this year's race. The "Classics Edition" of the Gallium features a reworked rear stays and lay-up of the fork to better the absorption of the vibrations and impacts that riders encounter during the 253km race. Argon 18 and the team have been testing the bike during the classics season with several top five finishes but without tasting victory.
The Gallium for Paris-Rouabix also has has increased clearance to fit Vision's Metron 40 wheels with the team opting for 28mm Vittoria Pave tyres which will be inflated to 5.5-6.0bar.
"Paris-Roubaix is such a special race that it's simply required to have special bike setups," said team manager Ralph Denk. "One must find the right balance between handling and comfort on 50km of cobblestones as well as the rigidity you need on the other 200km. But then you can't experiment in the race itself. Once a rider lines-up in Compiègne he needs to trust completely in his material. We are more than happy that Argon 18 provided us already back in February with different classic set-ups that we tested in diverse races. The classics edition turns out to be very reliable and to go as smoothly as possible with the various components."
To further increase comfort, several riders are opting for double wrapped bar tape while on-bar Di2 shifters and an extra brake lever have been added to help the riders handling during the pavé sectors.
"We wanted to be proactive and get in front of the team's needs by providing bicycles adapted to the unique race conditions at Paris-Roubaix, and to the Northern Classics before that race," said president of Argon 18 Gervais Rioux. "It is important for us that athletes approach every event with absolute confidence in their equipment. By providing the most competitive bike possible, we ensure a favourable environment for them to perform and, therefore, to obtain results."
Have a look through the gallery of the Gallium that Scott Thwaites will ride at Paris-Roubaix.