Race Tech

Pro bike: Peter Sagan’s Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix

Two cobbled Classics, two different bikes for the world champion

The cobbled Classics place a unique set of demands on both riders and their equipment. And that’s amplified at Paris-Roubaix, the toughest race of them all. 

The pavé of the Hell of the North, the final cobbled Classic of this year’s campaign, is rougher than anything that comes before it through spring – and will see Peter Sagan switch from the Specialized Tarmac on which he won the Tour of Flanders, to the American firm’s cobble-specific Roubaix.

Peter Sagan will switch from the Specialized Tarmac (top) on which he won the Tour of Flanders, to the Specialized Roubaix (bottom) for Paris-Roubaix

Sagan went into the 2016 cobbled Classics seeking to secure his first Monument win – and the world champion claimed a solo victory at last week’s Tour of Flanders to break that duck after seven top-ten finishes in cycling’s major one-day races.

We stopped by the Tinkoff mechanics’ truck after Sagan’s Ronde victory to take a look at his Flanders-winning bike and also took the opportunity to check out the machine the Slovakian will ride at Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. As well as switching frames, Sagan has wider tyres for Roubaix and, interestingly, has swapped his normal Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset for a mechanical Dura-Ace groupset.

The cobbles of Flanders are significantly smoother than those found in Paris-Roubaix and the only significant change to Sagan’s  regular race-day Tarmac, in a stunning world champion’s custom finish, was a switch to wider 26mm tyres.

Sagan’s Specialized Roubaix, however, is an entirely different beast, and the change in machine, and the steps Sagan and his mechanics take to combat the cobbles, highlight the severity of the race.

Flick through the photo gallery below to take a closer look at both of Sagan’s Classics bikes.

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