The pro-continental team has a close and active working relationship with Shimano (obviously as a title co-sponsor) and Koga bicycles. Both manufacturers have cooked up special kits to help the team’s riders this weekend.
While Koga, like all ProTour bike sponsors, builds super light, super stiff carbon fibre bikes, they feel — and the Skil-Shimano riders seem to agree — that Scandium alloy frames provide a better platform for this unique, hellish event.
The Koga Cobblecrosser is expected to give the riders a sturdier platform to make it over the deadly cobblestones in wet or dry weather. Scandium alloy was chosen for its shock-absorbing characteristics and the frame is built to provide more space around cantilever brakes and wheels to accommodate bigger tyres and for mud clearance should the weather turn.
Shimano supplies its cantilever touring brakes and a custom reinforced 32-spoke wheelset with low-profile aluminium rims. The shallow rims offer more cushion than today’s carbon models.
Skil-Shimano riders will benefit from the use of Di2's remote shift levers
The Cobblecrosser makes use of Shimano’s electronic Di2 group and including the new satellite shifters, which allow rides to shift gear with their hands on top of the bars when crossing the cobblestones. This is a clear benefit to the riders on the brutal classic courses.
The Cobblecrossers are painted black, with subtle details that give a nod to the cobblestones.
The following riders are set to represent Skil-Shimano in Paris-Roubaix on Sunday: Mitchell Docker, Koen de Kort, Floris Goesinnen, Roy Curvers, Robert Wagner, Steve Houanard, Tom Veelers en Robin Chaigneau.