Friday 10 April 2009

Paris-Roubaix Weekend

The most brutal of the Classics races takes place on Sunday with the latest installment of Paris-Roubaix. During our North Carolina training camp we enjoyed watching "the Road to Roubaix" (review to follow soon), a DVD produced by a group in Virginia. As part of my Cycling Fan Rituals today, I also watched this short promotional video from Specialized showing Fabian Cancellara of the Saxo Bank team with two colleagues checking out the course on a miserable rainy day in January. Watch how fast he rides the perfectly hideous Arenberg section.

The actual race itself has not been taken place during rain for a few years--but who can forget when mud-soaked Servais Knaven crossed the finish line in the velodrome?--so this video is a good ideal of what things looked like in the Bad Old Days:

If you are not familiar with this extremely hard and quite legendary race, I would suggest the book I reviewed in October 2007 here. There is a cyclo-touriste version of the race held in September and I would be tempted to do it for the keepsake cobblestone you get at the end but the 50 kms for cobbles you have to ride gives me pause. Fabian will get a new Specialized Roubaix if his breaks, but I don't think I could subject my Tarmac to this kind of punishment. Or myself...

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