As Thor Hushovd and other select members of Garmin-Cervelo line up for the Queen of the Classics in two weeks time they will be campaigning an all-new Mavic wheel, the M40.
With an early prototype ridden to victory by Philippe Gilbert at Strade Bianchi the wheel's ability on less than perfect terrain is already proven. Of course, a white gravel road is not the cobbles of Roubaix.
Mavic just finished an extensive reconnaissance of some of Roubaix’s nastiest cobbles with Thor Hushovd to test the M40 on the northern stone. The results were overwhelmingly positive, leading Hushovd to agree to run the new wheel during the ‘Hell of the North’.
Details about the new wheel are very sketchy. It is known to be a 40mm deep carbon tubular with a much wider rim width than any other Mavic wheel. Our sources could not reveal what the actual dimensions were but it is safe to assume they are similar to the approximately 25mm width used by Zipp on their 303 wheels that dominated last years classics.
A spoke count of 24 is mentioned in marketing materials and presumably this is the rear wheel with fewer up front. The spokes also appear to be bladed but our sources could not verify if they were Zicral aluminum as other Mavic wheels are. Weight is also unknown.
Using the Garmin-Cervelo team to test these wheels is a natural choice. With the core of their classics squad, Hushovd, Haussler and Klier, coming from the Cervelo Test Team they secured a crop of riders that had participated in the early race testing of the Zipp 303. Hushovd has made it no secret that the Roubaix crown is the one he truly covets above all others, green and rainbow jerseys included. If he gets there this year, it will be on a set of Mavic's all new M40.