An engineer once told me that bicycles are designed to withstand some enormous number of vibration cycles before failure, with each cycle being the equivalent of riding over a cobble. Something like a half million or a million cycles. The engineer then told me that the design spec amounted to about 25km of cobbles.
Paris-Roubaix has 53km of cobblestones.
Not surprising, then, that the Queen of the Classics played host to the strangest mechanical ever---Hincapie's broken steerer tube. And we can pretty much count on one contender being taken out by a mechanical Sunday. So I've created a poll so that the Cafe can weigh in on what will happen this year, with parenthetical examples of memorable mechanicals from the past.
What will be the memorable mechanical failure of Paris-Roubaix 2009?
Broken Steerer Tube (George) (12 votes)
Broken Chain (Spartacus RVV) (6 votes)
Frame Failure (6 votes)
Broken Seat/Seatpost (17 votes)
Wheel disaster, non-tire related (42 votes)
A plague of punctures afflicting one individual or team (Phonak '04 TDF) (11 votes)
Broken handlebars/stem (6 votes)
Rear derailleur (Boonen/Hoste) (9 votes)
Someone Else's Loose Bottle Cage (Kemmelberg) (6 votes)
115 total votes