The bike you’re seeing is favored to cross the finish line first in the Roubaix velodrome on Sunday. With the absence of Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen has become the clear favorite for Paris-Roubaix. If he manages to come through for a record-tying fourth victory (Roger de Vlaeminck holds that honor) in the “Hell of the North,” he’ll do it aboard a bike that makes its racing debut on Sunday.
The new model is the next in the Roubaix line and Specialized is calling it only “Roubaix” and not “Roubaix SL4 S-Works” or some similar model name. The new frame is UCI-approved and Boonen has been testing it since February of this year.
Boonen and company will all be using SRAM’s new Red group, Zipp cockpits and 303 wheels and cockpits. One exception is Boonen’s use of a PG 1070 cassette and not the newest XG 1090 cassette. Boonen uses a Chicane saddle with carbon rails and LOOK Keo Blade pedals. He had a cheat sheet of key points in the race taped to his top tube and a Quarq Garmin Edge 500 to keep track of his whereabouts.
The new Roubaix will be a 2013 production bike, with only very limited quantities available this fall.