'I've never seen the cobbles as bad as this' - Inside one team's Paris-Roubaix recon

Tom Davidson joins British Continental team Lifeplus-Wahoo as they prepare for the most feared race of the season

Lifeplus-Wahoo on a Paris-Roubaix recon
(Image credit: Dan King)

"Can I have squash in mine?" asks Maddie Leech, holding out her bidon and a bottle of supermarket-brand orange cordial. The time is 10am sharp, and in a packed car park by the post office in the French town of Haveluy, Lifeplus-Wahoo are getting ready for a day across the cobbles.

Three bikes are lined up along a brick wall. One for sprinter Eluned King, one for new signing Kristýna Burlová, and one for Leech, who is wrapping her hands in blue tape. The 20-year-old can spin tales of the brutality of Paris-Roubaix. When she made her debut last year, she didn't reach the end of the first stretch of cobbles. 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Davidson
Senior News Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.