Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike switch: thin and digital to fat and mechanical

Di2 Tarmac with 26mm tubulars for first 100km, then mechanical Roubaix with 30mms for the pavé

Peter Sagan started the 2016 Paris-Roubaix with his dedicated cobbles bike atop the first team follow car. As the 258km race left Compiegne, Sagan pedaled away on a Specialized S-Works Tarmac with deep aero wheels and 26mm tubulars.

“The energy savings in the early part of the race is critical,” Specialized team liaison Gianpaolo Mondini said before the race. “He will switch after about 100km.”

On the follow car, Sagan had his Specialized S-Works Roubaix with fat 30mm FMB/Specialized tubulars.

Note how all his teammates' bikes have numbers on them before the start: note how all his teammates' bikes have numbers on them before the start
Note how all his teammates' bikes have numbers on them before the start: note how all his teammates' bikes have numbers on them before the start

Notice something missing here? While Sagan's teammates all had number plates on the bikes they started the race on, Sagan did not

Most other riders opted to split the difference, and start and (hopefully) finish on 28mm tubulars.

The other notable difference was the drivetrain. The Tarmac had Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with sprint shifters; the pavé set-up had mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace.

Sagan’s top rival Fabian Cancellara has long favored mechanical Dura-Ace over Di2, and again started the race on the cable-actuated group. These two riders are increasingly in the minority, however, with a dozen teams at Paris-Roubaix using Di2 for some if not all of their riders.

Sagan's roubaix had mechanical dura-ace, while his first-100km tarmac had di2: sagan's roubaix had mechanical dura-ace, while his first-100km tarmac had di2
Sagan's roubaix had mechanical dura-ace, while his first-100km tarmac had di2: sagan's roubaix had mechanical dura-ace, while his first-100km tarmac had di2

Sagan's Specialized S-Works Roubaix had mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace with 30mm tubulars

Be sure to visit Cyclingnews.com for complete coverage of Paris-Roubaix.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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