Boonen’s Specialized Roubaix SL S-Works
Despite a hideous carpet that made us feel dizzy we got very excited when we
got up close to Tom Boonen’s 2007 Quickstep Roubaix (And his and Bettini’s Tarmac).
For 2007 Specialized announced that they were to provide bikes for the World’s
top team, a team that features the reigning Olympic and World Champion, Paulo
Bettini and 2005 World Champion and mutli classics winner Tom Boonen. Not forgetting
Peter Van Petegem and a host of potential race winners (when they aren’t looking
after Boonen and Bettini).
Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard told us that he had worked for three years to
get the" best team in the World" and he was very keen to insist that
the Quickstep Team’s bike are from stock and customers will be able to buy similar bikes at any Specialized dealer.
The Quickstep team will really sparkle in the Spring Classics, chiefly Paris
Roubaix, Leige-Bastogne-Leige and Tour of Flanders. Specialized have high hopes
in winning the Prince of races, Paris Roubaix on a Roubaix bike. A ‘dream would
come true for Specialized UK’s chief Richard Hemington
The 2007 team
Hemington also told us that; We were approached by every major team this
year. I dont think they realised wed spend so much money on Quick
Step!. Everybody wants to ride a Specialized.
James Booth of Specialized said that "we wanted a rider with charisma,
a rider like Cippo". (Media darling Mario Cippolini who rode the brand
a few year’s ago)
The philosophy behind the Roubaix is "comfort" and Mike Sinyard (Specialized’s
CEO) sums it up thus – "you get to go faster and for longer".
The bike has a more relaxed geometry and also boasts more vertical compliance
than the Tarmac SL.
Strategically positioned Zertz inserts give the frame extra give over the
rough stuff and the carbon bike developed with the help of the Gerolsteiner
team should give Boonen and the rest an excellent platform.
Boonen has been seen testing the bikes on the pave and in fact the Quickstep
team got to ride Tarmac’s and Roubaix prior to a deal being signed. The general
impression was that the bikes were stiffer than last years steeds.
Paris Roubaix is probably the most famous race after the Tour de France and
features rough farm tracks, which are now national monuments, with cobbled sections
that are unlike anything you have ever ridden. Scary is an understatement!
Boonen rides with 177.5 cranks and he will use the Carbon Specialized cranks
with Campagnolo rings, Campagnolo also provide the brakes and gears. The first
thing that stands out about the bike is the size of it – this is a 58cm model,
straight off the shelf and no extra weave is required as was the case in 2006.
Specialized have manufactured a long 147 stem for Boonen and this gives the
front a somewhat odd appearance. The bike featured may change as the season
progresses, new development parts may be tried by the team and in some cases
where contracts apply changes made. Boonen for instance likes a big saddle and may not use
the Toupe and may choose another from the Specialized range.
Frame – Works FACT 10r carbon, Az1 construction, compact race design, Zertz
Forks – S-Works FACT monocoque carbon fork; full carbon legs, crown and steerer
w/ Zertz inserts
Seat pin – S-Works SL, FACT carbon w/ Zertz insert
Saddle – Toupe
Chainset – Campaganolo Record
Gearing – Campaganolo Record
Wheels/hubs – Roval
Tyres – Specialized S-Works
Brakes – Campaganolo Record