Bike companies have been sectioning off their road bikes in various categories: climbing bikes for the mountains, aero bikes for the fast and flat races, endurance bikes for the rough roads, adventure bikes for the gravel, and on and on. On Sunday at the roughest road race of them all, however, it was an aero bike that won the day at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix when Orica-GreenEdge's Mathew Hayman won aboard a Scott Foil.
As with most racers in the 258km contest from Compiegne to Roubaix in northern France, Hayman had 28mm tubulars as a concession to the more than 52km of pavé. He also used 53/44 chainrings instead of the standard 53/39. Other than that, however, his bike build was that of a criterium racer's: aero wheels, aero frame, thin saddle and a single layer of handlebar tape.
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Hayman's mud-splattered aero bike stood in contrast to the many other endurance machines that came into the old velodrome in Roubaix. Many had double bar tape. Some had an extra brake lever mounted on the handlebar top. Some had 30mm tubulars.
Hayman's use of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 also contrasted to the publicized positions of race favorites Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara who opted for mechanical Dura-Ace.
While early aero bikes earned a reputation for being overly stiff and harsh — with the original Scott Foil falling somewhat in this category — the new Foil was completely overhauled with increased compliance being a goal for the Swiss company.
Towards the end of the race, Hayman was clear in a group that included four-time race winner Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step) and Ian Stannard (Team Sky). After various attacks came to naught, Boonen led the group into the final meters, and Hayman was able to come around in the sprint for the win.
To read all about how it unfolded and the myriad stories inside Paris-Roubaix, be sure to check out Cyclingnews.com.
Complete bike specifications of Mathew Hayman's Scott Foil
- Frameset: Scott Foil
- Stem: Integrated Scott Foil
- Handlebar: PRO alloy
- Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct-mount
- Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace direct-mount
- Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-9070
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
- Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 + SW-R610 sprint shifters (on drops)
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000, 11-25T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
- Crankset: SRM Shimano 11-speed, 53/44T
- Pedals: Shimano 9000 Dura-Ace
- Wheelset: Shimano C-50tubular
- Tubulars: Continental Competition Pro LTD, 28mm
- Saddle: Fizik Antares
- Seatpost: Ritchey Foil
- Computer: SRM Power Control 8 (not pictured)