I haven't been to see Roubaix live in ages, yet much of that day from when I last saw it is still clear in my mind. I can remember what I had for breakfast, how cold it was standing by the Roadside and how fast the riders are over the cobbles. I'd made the decision after Flanders this year that I wouldn't be back to watch it in 2011. I've managed it for the last three years, and to be honest it will be strange not watching the Ronde in Flanders. But I knew I had to visit the Queen again, she was calling loud and clear and both races are Super Special.
With the rumours that have been flying around and the now recent announcement that ASO would be holding a Sportive version for amateurs the day before. Unlike Flanders where having 17,000 people trample over the bergs before the Pro's is likely to do little damage, but may actually help clear the course, the same can't be said for Roubaix. I wonder if it may make the Stones worse. Details are sketchy at best, so we really don't know how much it'll cost or how many people will be able to enter. We do know that it will be 135km in length and the date is the 9th of April.
So I'd like to take part, and I'm sure I won't be alone in thinking that it'll be a great day, but I expect it to be tough. Unlike the June version run off every two years, the one the ASO are proposing will get the full Pro effect being the day before. I love Pave, and the more I ride it the better I get. So if I get in this will represent my first goal this year, and the training will have to start, or I'll never get fit in time. I've just watched these excellent videos from Michael at the www.theroaddiaries.com and it makes me want to have a go at it even more. I am sure it'll be a big challenge, and if the weather is shit a big ask. But it really appeals and I'm hoping to gather a little Team of people so we can ride can tackle the pave together. If I can't get in, I'll be hitting Belgium instead.
The race winning bike, although I'm unlikely to use a Specialized but I love the idea of using Sram, Zipp and FMB tubs. Not afraid of carbon on the cobbles as I won't be hitting then at 50 kmph+.