With four victories of the brutal Paris-Roubaix classic already in the books, Tom Boonen would make history with a fifth win this year. While not the favorite — most eyes are on Peter Sagan or Fabian Cancellara — Boonen can never be ruled out for competition on the cobblestones.
This year he is again racing a Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4, a machine he piloted to victory in 2012.
Sagan and Cancellara have shied away from the electronic shifting of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for the cobbles. It's hard to shift any bike with hands and bars rattling across the stones, and mechanical proponents say cable-actuated systems often better feel and more intentional shifting than buttons. Boonen, for his part, isn't bothered. He is running Di2 with sprint shifters on the inside of the drops.
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The cobblestones don't seem to rattle Boonen much. He was out doing recon with his team on Friday, riding without gloves across the cobbles.
While most of Specialized Roubaix bikes this year come with disc brakes, Boonen and his team are sticking with traditional rim brakes. Only Lampre-Merida has gone all in on discs for its racers, testing the waters first at the Tour of Flanders and now at Paris-Roubaix.
Thick tape right up to the stem for Boonen's Paris-Roubaix machine
The rest of Boonen's bike is largely a Specialized affair, from the carbon Roval wheels to the 28mm tubulars to the Romin saddle.
FSA provides the bar and stem — both alloy, not carbon — and upstart company 4iiii has a dual-sided power meter on Boonen's bike.
Be sure to check out Cyclingnews.com this weekend for complete coverage of the 114th Paris-Roubaix.
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4
- Fork: Specialized S-Works Roubaix FACT
- Headset: Ceramic Speed
- Stem: FSA OS99, 140mm
- Handlebar: FSA Energy, 44cm (c-c)
- Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
- Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-28T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2, 177.5mm, 53/44
- Power meter: 4iiii
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
- Wheelset: Roval CLX40
- Tubulars: Specialized, 28mm
- Saddle: Specialized S-Works Romin, 155mm