Tinkoff-Saxo leader already testing on cobbles
The dust has scarcely settled from Paris-Roubaix, but already riders are turning their attention to stage 5 of the 2014 Tour de France, when the race will cover nine of the pavé sectors which were used in the just-completed Monument. Alberto Contador
(Tinkoff-Saxo) tested out the cobbled sectors today, scouting the
conditions as well as trying out equipment all under the supervision of
his new coach Steven de Jongh.
The 156km stage from Ypres to Arenberg will be a critical stage for
the Tour contenders, who must traverse the ancient roads which they
"It has gone well, I've seen the first part of the stage in the car
and last 75 km by bike," Contador said. "I have especially studied the
equipment, which is most important here."
The Tour de France covered some of the same sectors in the 2010
edition, where the race covered seven sectors at a total of 13km. This
year, the tally rises to 15.4km, including the 2400m long sector at
Sars-et-Rosières which took out Frank Schleck and Janez Brajkovic in
2010, the 3700m sector at Hornaing and the dreaded Carrefour de l'Arbre,
which is the first the riders will encounter at kilometer 87 in the
"Clearly the most critical will be the first sections, because there
the group will still be very large and there will be more fighting to
get into in front of the group," Contador said. "After there will be
"I think it will be a more difficult stage than in 2010 because first sections are more complicated."
The Tour de France stage will travel in the reverse of the direction
which Paris-Roubaix uses, first hitting the Carrefour de l'Arbre, a five
star sector in Paris-Roubaix, but only part of which will be used in
July. A 1400m, three-star sector, Pont-Thibaut follows at kilometer
103.5, after which the pavé comes in rapid-fire succession.
1000m of the five star Mons-en-Pévèle, the entire four-star Bersée,
the Orchies - Beuvry-la-Forêt sector, the 2400m cobbles of Tilloy and
1400m at Brillon - Warlaing all follow in the space of just 25km.
It will likely be the 3.7km long, four-star rated Hornaing sector
which will wreck havoc on the peloton, coming at kilometer 140, while
the Wallers sector, 1600m in length, will be there at kilometer 149 to
finish them off.
"The feeling on the cobblestones has been good, but we must not
forget that this is just a workout, it's not the race, and there wasn’t
rain, which can complicate everything. The wind will also be very
important. Today it was blowing pretty hard, and in that case it will be
important to have a strong team."
Contador tested out the Specialized Roubaix with Zipp 303 wheels and
tires pumped to various pressures, noting the weight difference between
Classics riders and GC men will make a difference in what is used.
Tour de France Stage 5 pave
1 - Gruson au Carrefour de l'Arbre 1100m, km. 87 ***** (Paris-Roubaix sector 4, half used)
2 - Ennevelin Pont-Thibaut 1,400m, km. 103.5 *** (Paris-Roubaix sector 8)
3 - Mons-en-Pévèle, 1000m, km. 110 ***** (Paris-Roubaix sector 10, 1/3)
4 - Bersée, 1400m, km. 114.5 **** (Paris-Roubaix sector 12)
5 - Orchies - Beuvry-la-Forêt, 1,400m, km. 125.5 *** (Paris-Roubaix sector 13)
6 - Sars-et-Rosières - Tilloy, 2,400m, km. 131 **** (Paris-Roubaix sector 14)
7 - Brillon - Warlaing, 1,400m, km. 135 *** (Paris-Roubaix sector 15)
8 - Hornaing, 3,700m, km. 140 **** (Paris-Roubaix sector 16)
9 - Hélesmes - Wallers, 1,600m, km. 149 (Paris-Roubaix sector 17)
Article Source: Cycling News