Frankie's Formulas: Paris-Roubaix

#MyMIX Frankie's Formulas: Paris-Roubaix

By Frankie Andreu

 

INFINIT is continuing our #MyMIX - Frankie's Formulas, a series of race formulas specifically for the EU Spring Classics that Frankie raced for over a decade. Including insider stories about what actually happens in the peloton, the race conditions, terrain and and the custom-blended nutrition solution needed to complete the race.

 

Frankie's Paris-Roubaix Formula at a Glance:  Over 3 hour formula, Triathlon, Cycling, Mountain Bike, Cramper's Blends, Heavy Sweaty, Sensitive Stomach, Clydesdale/Athena, Male, Salted Caramel

Paris-RoubaixParis Roubaix 2015 - 12/04/2015 - Compiègne - Roubaix - 253,5 km - France -
Départ de l'épreuve devant le Chateau de Compiègne © © ASO/B.Bade


"I’ve done Paris Roubaix in horrible wet muddy conditions and also dry fast, dusty, and barely able to see in front of you conditions. They both present their challenges. In my last Roubaix I can remember standing on the start line thinking this is the most important race in my life. I had never won a World Tour race so any time I lined up for one I knew it could be a game changer. Each time I would tell myself that the race I was about to start is the biggest race of my career.  I knew I had the fitness and I just needed to focus on staying fueled and hydrated to stay at a top level during the race. Roubaix beats your body down..."

 

About the Race: 

  • One of cycling's oldest races, the annual one-day cycling race started in 1896, and is held in Northern France.1
  • Paris-roubaix is known for its many 'cobbled sectors', making it one of the "cobbled classics"2
  • Twenty-five cycling teams have been selected to take part to the 114th edition of Paris-Roubaix which will take place on April 10th.3
  • The course is known for it's difficult conditions, and it is maintained by Les Amis de Paris–Roubaix, a group of fans of the race formed in 1983.3


This is the granddaddy of all the classics. All year long races take place on paved roads, cover similar distances, and go over small climbs. It’s a bit of repeat and repeat again. This is what separates Paris-Roubiax from all the other races on the cycling calendar. No other race has so many miles of cobbles lined up in sections surrounded by dirt that cut through the fields of France. It’s a race where so much can go wrong. To make things go right you have to be strong, smart, tough, and defiant.


My first Roubaix was like being put through a shredder. The cobbles tore me apart. It was gradual at first but by the 15th section, out of 25 sections, the power started to leak from my legs. As my speed decreased each time I hit a brick it seems to slow me down a kilometer per hour. The slower I went the harder the cobbled sections became. During the race I had times when I fought for position near the front of the group but after half way those great moments had passed. I ended up doing the last part of the race with two of my teammates, Norm Alvis and John Tomac. For all of us it was our first Paris Roubaix and we did manage to finish. We crossed the line almost 45 min down from the winner so we scored no UCI points but we did finish.

Paris-Roubaix
Paris Roubaix 2015 - 12/04/2015 - Compiègne - Roubaix - 253,5 km - France - Départ de l'épreuve devant le Chateau de Compiègne © © ASO/B.Bade

 

My last Roubaix race was in 2000, and I found myself in the break. I had a good legs and after a hard section of cobbles I decided to attack. There was a long way to go but my thinking was that when the big guns put the power down and split apart the peloton I would have a head start and be in the front group. I was also thinking that with me in the front then my teammates would not have to work and have a free ride sitting on and following.

After a little while riding off the front by myself I noticed a rider chasing to bridge the gap by himself. At first I glance I couldn’t tell who it was but when I was caught I saw it was the king of the cobbled classics, Johan Museeuw. My first thought was "what the hell is he doing here." We were a long way to the finish, with a fierce head wind, so I knew I had to conserve as much energy as possible while riding with the strongest rider in the race. I knew that if Johan decided to give full stick over a section of cobbles I was going to be in trouble. Johan hit it hard on one section and I hung tough but when he hit hard on the next section all I could do was watch him ride away from me. I tried to chase for a bit but I was done. Mentally and physically I was exhausted and disappointed. My most important race in my life disappeared up the road in front of me. Johan Museeuw went on to win finishing only fifteen seconds in front of what remained of the peloton. The race was 273km, with 51 km of cobbles, 178 starters and only 66 finishers (I finished 20th) and all 65 of us knew we would have to wait one more year to conquer this granddaddy.

 

Frankie's Formulas: Paris-Roubaix

 


I’ve done Paris Roubaix in horrible wet muddy conditions and also dry fast, dusty, and barely able to see in front of you conditions. They both present their challenges. In my last Roubaix I can remember standing on the start line thinking this is the most important race in my life. I had never won a World Tour race so any time I lined up for one I knew it could be a game changer. Each time I would tell myself that the race I was about to start is the biggest race of my career. I knew I had the fitness and I just needed to focus on staying fueled and hydrated to stay at a top level during the race.

Roubaix beats your body down. The formula that I created has higher calories and some protein to help protect my muscles for brutal conditions. Of all the formulas that I have created with INFINIT, this one is the heavy duty, go-all-day mix.

 

Get Frankie's Formula: Paris-Roubaix

Learn more about Frankie Andreu and Paris-Roubaix