Slow motion pavé

A reader’s sent in a link to this Dutch video clip from Paris-Roubaix. Shot with a Weisscam, a German-made high speed digital camera capable of 4,000 frames per second, it captures surprising details in slow motion. You can see tubs deform on the cobbles and specks of dirt flying off the wheels.

It’s so detailed that some moments almost look as if they’d been shot in a studio, they’ve been staged, but then you soon come across a recognisable rider. It’s real.

18 thoughts on “Slow motion pavé”

  1. Hrm… the wheel shots don’t show much of the riders, so could it be that those were done beforehand or afterwards, and then mixed with the real footage? Sort of how in movies they’ll show a shot of the actor/actress dancing, and then zoom in on the fancy footwork, which is of course not really the actor.

  2. “Me gusta!” In memories of the 2011 spring season that saw how lack of professional career advice made the world’s strongest time trial- and cobblestone rider choose a regular walk into his swiss bank instead of career opportunities, signing his pension contract. Never seen a rider beeing so happy for not winning. I smell a rat. But as the spanish people says: “me culo es el primero”.

  3. Watched it live yesterday on one of the best sport programs on Dutch television “Holland Sport”. Incredible shots and filmed on a stage 50 km before the finish of Paris-Roubaix. Never seen before in this way. Epic! Music used in this short film is from “Band of brothers”.

  4. It’s a good film although I can’t help join Markus Neuert, the “cyclefilm” guy, in wondering if we always have to have black and white slow motion… but this is a very good example, the detail is excellent.

  5. I actually do video for a well known parts and accessory company in the States. I can promises you there were at least 4-5 shots cut into real race footage, that were staged. To shoot something at 4000 frames per second, it would require plenty of artificial lighting as such a high shutter speed closes down the aperture and doesn’t allow a lot of light into the camera. You’ll also notice the Specialized Allez, or Sectur bikes with Specialized bottle without team labeling. I have a very good feeling some shots were absolutely produced and not verite. But still, very interesting.

  6. What Mark said – I think any Specialized bikes in the race would have been S-Works branded Roubaix frames (with S-Works, rather than Specialized on the downtube). But that’s not really the point – it’s still a lovely bit of work.

  7. Looking at the amount of ‘jittering’ in the arm muscles of the riders – I wonder if long sleeve compression garments would have an application here…??

    Obviously, the weather (ie. the heat) would be an isue. But I wonder if compressive arm sleeves would reduce the jittering & flapping of the arm muscles, and thus reduce rider fatigue & soreness….??

    BTW – love the site Inner Ring, its become my favourite cycling blog… 🙂

  8. Sorry to hear about the German block guys, that’s too bad.

    Abby, that’s an interesting idea. One of the unmentioned things about the cobbles is the way if hampers blood circulation, the constant bouncing means the vascular valves don’t work effectively, encouraging the blood to pool in the limbs. It can have an important effect.

  9. @Mark I have read some Twitter-chatter between the makers and other folk on this clip, and it seems you are right: it is indeed a mix-up of real race footage and some staged footage shot before the race with other riders.

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