Every professional cycling team has riders’ names on their bikes, but Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and bike manufacturer Stevens have taken things a step further with Wout van Aert’s bike for Paris-Roubaix.
As well as having his named emblazoned down both sides of the seat tube, Van Aert can also identify which bike is his by looking at the head tube, which features a picture of his own face.
The bike is a standard Stevens Xenon frame which has been given a very special custom paintjob by Belgian paint specialists M-Level which has produced specially painted helmets and bikes for the likes of Mark Cavendish, Vincenzo Nibali, and Peter Sagan in the past.
This particular paintjob pays homage to the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, with the grey pavé appearing on the head tube, top tube, and fork of Van Aert’s bike.
Meanwhile the seatstays tell the 23-year-old to ‘Go Hard or Go Home’ while details of each of the 29 cobbled sectors are written at the end of the top tube, albeit in such small font that Van Aert might have to get his reading glasses out mid-race to get the full details.
Away from the paintjob there are a few alterations to the bike’s components in preparation for the unique challenges of Paris-Roubaix, with an extra brake lever on the top of the bars to allow the cyclocross world champion to brake without moving his hands from the tops, aluminium bottle cages that can be bent into shape to give a firm grip on the bidons over the rough pavé, and 28mm Schwalbe tyres.
The rest of the components are the same as will be used by the rest of the Belgian team on Sunday, with Zipp 202 wheels combined with a SRAM Red eTap groupset, and a Fizik saddle.