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The hell of the North awaits

13 April 2022
The hell of the North awaits

How can rider and gear work in harmony to tame the brutal cobbles of Paris-Roubaix? It’s time to find out.

Ambition, apprehension and adrenaline will fill the air of Northern France over the weekend of 16th-17th April 2022 as the world’s gaze falls on Paris-Roubaix. 

On the Saturday, the world’s strongest female cyclists, including Campagnolo-using UAE Team ADQ and lead rider Marta Bastianelli, take on the second Paris-Roubaix Femmes



Twenty-four hours later, the dreams – and possibly nightmares – of the men’s field will come true at the 119th edition of The Hell of the North.

The three WorldTour men’s teams who collaborate and innovate with Campagnolo – namely UAE Team Emirates, AG2R Citroen Team and Cofidis – will be there in force. 

Their final line-ups are yet to be confirmed but several star names have, including Greg van Avermaet and Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroen Team), Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), and Pascal Ackermann and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).

This season’s chapter returns to its traditional April slot for the first time since 2019 after 2020’s cancellation and 2021’s edition moving to October, both because of Covid. 

Ahead of the riders at the third Monument of the season are 55km of cobbles. Thirty stretches of varying degrees of brutal pave present a unique and debilitating challenge to man and machine



Which is where Campagnolo comes in, to help every rider, whatever their level and palmares, reach their goals.

Take Campagnolo’s wheels versus the deep cobbles of Roubaix. 

Left unchecked, the vibrations that shudder through the wheel would fatigue the strongest of riders, leading to discomfort, loss of power and broken dreams.

Thankfully, Campagnolo has the answer.

“All of the riders will benefit from a wide range of Campagnolo wheels and, of course, their choice will be subjective,” explains the product manager at Campagnolo. “Some of them will ride on tubulars – most likely 50mm depth – and others will choose the newest Bora Ultra WTO. With them they can benefit from our 2WF technology. These are the perfect vehicle for tubeless tyres, which offer low rolling resistance and reduce the chances of a puncture.”

The Bora Ultra WTO wheels aren’t solely about pacifying the aggressiveness of the cobbles, of course. 

Though the pave reaches out to 55km, that still equates to ‘only’ 21% of the 257.7km parcours. The remaining 79% is a mix of tarmac and country lanes. 



That means higher speeds, highlighting the importance of free km/hr; in other words, the importance of aerodynamics.

“Again this will mainly depend on the rider’s preference, that preference isn’t just down to the changing terrain. At this time of year, the weather can play an important role, too. If high winds are expected, for instance, expect many of the riders to choose a lower profile. Ultimately, they’re well-served as we offer 33, 45 and 60mm rim depths on the Ultra WTO, though expect most will be riding 45 and some 60.”

So, Campagnolo has the likes of Fernando Gaviria, Tom Bohli and Stan Dewulf covered when it comes to wheels.

Innovation and cobble-defying innovation’s covered by the groupset, too, thanks to the impeccable Campagnolo Super Record EPS



This electronic work-of art is perfect for The Queen of the Classics thanks to myriad reasons.

“Three of these include speed of shifting, precision of shifting and the multishifting option across the entire sprockets,” explains the product manager at Campagnolo. "Paris-Roubaix’s cobbles, including the infamous Trouée d’Arenberg, demand numerous changes of pace and reliable grip. This precise, swift and reliable shifting of the Super Record EPS is perfect for this fluctuating scenario."



Ultimately, Campagnolo’s Super Record EPS and Bora Ultra WTO wheelset could give van Avermaet and co the edge over their competition, to make those cobble-beating dreams come true. 

Campagnolo’s innovative edge certainly helped legends of the sport Francesco Moser, Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx reign victorious around the Roubaix velodrome three times apiece

Similar memories could be made this weekend.



© TDW / Getty Images  

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