Trek to Investigate Hincapie Crash in Paris-Robaix Cycling Race

George Hincapie's Broken Bike at Paris-Roubaix 2006
Hincapie's Trek in Pieces: The bike was built up
from a Trek 5200, with carefully-selected
components designed to make riding
over cobblestones easier. [ Photo: AFP via
VeloNews ]

TDFblog.com has an excellent report on Sunday's Paris-Roubaix Cycling Race. This race, often referred to by the nickname "Hell of the North", was exactly that for Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team rider George Hincapie. He crashed twice during the race, including a spectacular crash when the handle bars on his bike broke away from the front fork.

Frank Steele of TDFblog did some good research. He found a CyclingNews.com interview with Scott Daubert of Trek that discussed the bike Hincapie used in Paris-Roubaix. The bike was built up from a Trek 5200 with a number of special components. The steerer that broke was an anodized alumnium Bontrager model similar to the steerer on my new Trek 1500. The fork was an OCLV carbon fork similar to those Trek uses on high-end commuter bikes, but with "dimensions that are appropriate for Roubaix".

Trek issued a statement through ThePaceline.com announcing that it would investigate Hincapie's two Paris-Roubaix crashes by "bringing the fork and the bike back to the United States where they will receive a thorough evaluation."

After seeing the second crash on OLN, I can't believe that Trek feels that they need to reassure the cycling community about the integrity of their products. In non-race conditions, anytime a bike hits the pavement, it should be completely inspected for hidden damage. The accident which ended George Hincapie's 2006 Paris-Roubaix was almost certainly the result of damage from his first crash that could have been identified if he had stopped and changed to a backup bike.

I can certainly understand that Hincapie wanted to stay with the leaders after his first crash, and couldn't have known that his bike was as damaged as it was prior to the second crash. It's unfortunate that Trek has to defend itself this strenuously when one of its bikes is pushed beyond its limits. [ Free registration required to read articles on ThePaceline.com ]