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Teams recce cobbles ahead of Paris-Roubaix

Cyclist magazine
6 Apr 2017

Social media posts show a number of teams have been out on the cobbles recceing the key Paris-Roubaix cobbled sectors

With Paris-Roubaix looming this weekend, and the final preparation race - Scheldeprijs - out of the way after being won by Marcel Kittel yesterday, the teams are out on the cobbles doing a final route recce.

Doing a 'recon' ride has become a popular thing for a lot of teams to do, not just for Paris-Roubaix but for a lot other major races, and especially the Classics. The nature of their parcours, with lots of narrow roads, tight technical turns and cobbled sections means that good positioning within the bunch is an essential part of a successful race. 

As well as refreshing their minds with the sectors and where they need to be at what time, doing a recon ride also gives riders a chance to test ride their bikes and make adjustments to their setup.

Lots of modifications are made to bikes ahead of cobbled races, such as extra layers of bartape, unusually low tyre pressures, bar-top brake levers and satellite Di2 buttons. While a lot of riders may have fine-tuned their bikes in the cobbled races before Roubaix, these recon rides provide a final chance to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Trek-Segafredo come to the race with high hopes for the race, with former winner John Degenkolb and a raft of younger talent like Jasper Stuyven and Edward Theuns, who could cause an upset. 

Lotto-Soudal on the famous Trouee d'Arenberg sector. Even now there are lots of people out on the course, hoping to get a better look at the pros tackling the cobblestones. 

Disc brakes on the Team Sunweb Giant Defys.

FDJ at the famous Pont Gibus sector, only recently reintroduced to the race after being restored by Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix.

Another French outfit, Fortuneo Vital Concept, are at the race with British sprinter Dan McLay. 

Cannondale-Drapac are without two key riders, Sep Vanmarcke and Taylor Phinney, after they crashed at the Tour of Flanders. 

Last year's winner Mat Hayman prepares for a recon ride with his Orica-Scott team with a personalised custom bike. 

Shots from the LottoNL-Jumbo recce ride show very dry, dusty conditions on the cobblestones. On current forecasts, it looks like its going to be another dry edition.

Bahrain-Merida will be hoping that more of their riders manage to stay upright than at the Tour of Flanders.

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