dust mud has settled on the first Paris-Roubaix Femmes, we can reflect on a race that delivered on all the anticipation and then some. A race for the ages, a barnstorming solo breakaway win, and enough tech to have my head in a spin.
Earlier this week, we followed
Trek-Segafredo’s Paris-Roubaix recon and their Project One Trek Domane. Three days later, Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini navigated the cobbled roads of northern France aboard the very same bikes to take first and third in the Roubaix velodrome.
Marianne Vos stood on the second step of that podium, separating the two Trek teammates. Vos was aboard a
Cervelo Caledonia that we had the pleasure of shooting just an hour before the start in Denain.
The next we saw of those bikes was moments after the finish, caked in mud and literally draped in blood, sweat and tears. If bikes could talk, these three would have one heck of a story to tell. Enjoy this gallery of the Roubaix podium bikes.
Elisa Longo Borghini/Trek-Segafredo – Trek Domane SLR – 3rd
Longo Borghini’s Trek Domane SLR in Project One Prismatic Pearl colourway
Rider name, bike name, UCI checked.
The rear wheel spray has the number caked in French mud.
Trek, SRAM and Bontrager took two spots on the podium.
Make your own luck. Trek-Segafredo took no chances with battery retention, with an elastic band as an extra layer of security. The cobbled sectors of Roubaix are inexplicably rough, so it comes as no surprise to me to see the team taking this extra precaution.
That extra precaution extends to the drivetrain. Trek told me that despite the small aero gain of 1x, it was the added security the narrow:wide chainring offers that had the team opt for 1x setups. Rumour has it, removing the front derailleur can also speed up the rear shifting.
Longo Borghini came down on the Mons-en-Pévèle sector, but recovered to take third place on the podium.
Bottles grow wings on the cobbles, Trek-Segafredo had a little extra grip on their cages to keep the bottles in place.
The bike, the coffee, the team.
No sunshine today, no pearly paint.
A wet day for the bikes, and a big day for Pirelli and tubeless.
Longo Borghini’s hands were bleeding at the finish.
Each rider has a list of sectors on their stem, Longo Borghini has better eye sight than me to see this on the move. Marianne Vos/Jumbo Visma – Cervelo Caledonia – 2nd
Vos and the entire Jumbo-Visma team lined up on the Cervelo Caledonia
The bikes looked a bit different by the finish.
Sparking clean bikes at the start in Denain.
Had collected vast amounts of French countryside by the finish.
One of the biggest names in the sport.
Not so shiny in the velodrome.
Tan sidewalls are synonymous with Roubaix.
The A Dugast brand is also inextricably linked to the Hell of the North.
But tan side walls do not hide mud well.
If Longo Borghini’s route details were hard to read on the move, this must have been impossible.
Bottle retention is strong with this one.
Cervelo has a strong history with Roubaix, Vos has added to that this weekend.
30mm tubs for Vos, some of the other Jumbo-Visma riders opted for 28s.
Lizzie Deignan/Trek-Segafredo – Trek Domane SLR – 1st
A few days before the race the sun was shining and the bikes were glowing.
Come the finish in Roubaix, the sunshine was replaced by rain clouds, the glittering with mud, and the pain with glory.
The name, the legend.
UCI checked before and after.
Before the recon the bikes had Pirelli’s P-Zero tubulars, but the rider immediately switched to tubeless and never looked back. Pirelli are basking in glory now.
Deignan’s bike was noticeably cleaner than the other two, the benefit of being out front, solo, with no one in front of you.
Pristine bar tape for the recon
The tape still looked well from some angles…
But Deignan’s hands also wore raw by the vibration on the cobbled sectors.
Deignan kept the blip buttons for race day.
Tubeless took two spots on the podium. Deignan had 30mm tyres with a rumoured 2.5bar pressure
The Trek-Segafredo team raced on the Bontrager RSL 37V TLR, traditionally a gravel wheelset, but apparently perfect for Roubaix.
Deignan also ran 1x, as did the entire team.
Out front solo might help the front of the bike, but the rear of Deignan’s bike was still caked in rear wheel spray mud.