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Extreme positions, time trial wheels and big helmets at the Tour Down Under prologue

Extreme positions, time trial wheels and big helmets at the Tour Down Under prologue

The 2023 Tour Down Under kicked off the WorldTour racing season last night with a prologue time trial. Given the impractical logistics and cost implications…

Tuesday, Jan 17

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The 2023 Tour Down Under kicked off the WorldTour racing season last night with a prologue time trial.

Given the impractical logistics and cost implications of shipping dedicated time trial bikes halfway around the world for a single, 5.5km stage, the race organisers decided to make it a road bike-only affair.

As you might imagine, this led to some unusual tech choices.

From disc wheels on road bikes, to big aero helmets, narrow handlebars and aggressively turned-in brake levers, let’s take a look at some of the tricks riders used to go as fast as possible on a road bike . Disc-brake disc wheels on road bikes and other time trial kit

Though usually the reserve of time trial bikes, most riders used solid rear-disc wheels on their team-issue aero road bikes for this prologue.

With the parcours being essentially pan-flat, weight was evidently not a concern and most riders simply chose the most aerodynamic setup possible (within the constraints of what their teams were willing to send to Australia).

Many riders also ran time trial-specific front wheels.Ethan Hayter, as well as a number of his Team Ineos Grenadiers teammates, used the Princeton Mach 7580 TS front wheel – a tri-spoke carbon wheel first spotted at the 2022 Tour de France on Filippo Ganna’s Pinarello Bolide F time trial bike .As expected, every rider we saw was wearing a skinsuit and most also wore aero socks or overshoes.Surprisingly, though, not everyone opted for a time trial-specific helmet.While the distinctively oversized Specialized S-Works TT5 was […]

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