Bahrain-Merida hone the time trial positions of their leading Grand Tour riders ahead of the Giro d'Italia

Vincenzo Nibali is currently honing his time trial position and perfecting his Merida TT bike in the wind tunnel as the Giro d’Italia draws near.

The Italian’s Bahrain-Merida team have been tweaking the aero positions of their leading Grand Tour riders in a wind tunnel in Milan.

Nibali goes into the 2017 Giro d’Italia as defending champion – and it will be his first Grand Tour outing for new team Bahrain-Merida. The implication is that it will also be the first time that he tackles a Grand Tour time trial on his Merida Warp TT bike.

Vincenzo Nibali wind tunnel testing with Bahrain-Merida, March 2017. Photo: Daniel Geiger / Merida Europe GmbH

Each rider’s bike has to be set up individually to maximise aerodynamics, and this can often be an intensive process. Tweaks are made, aerodynamics check, more tweaks made, and so on.

Along with Nibali, his Bahrain-Merida team-mates Ion Izaguirre, Ramunas Navardauskas, Manuele Boaro, Kanstantsin Siutsou, David Per and Ondrej Cink are among those spending time in the wind tunnel.

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Bahrain-Merida says that it is also using time in the Milan facility to ascertain the effects of cable and computer positioning, helmet design, tyre width and wheelset type have on aerodynamics, with the assistance of Formula 1 motor racing aerodynamics experts.

Vincenzo Nibali wind tunnel testing with Bahrain-Merida, March 2017. Photo: Daniel Geiger / Merida Europe GmbH

The 2017 Giro route includes more time trial kilometres than the 2017 Tour de France. Stage 10 features a 39.2km test against the clock from Foligno to Montefalco, and the race concludes in Milan with a decisive 28km TT. The race could very easily be won or lost in a time trial.

Nibali will face the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and former Astana team-mate Fabio Aru at the 2017 Giro d’Italia, which runs from May 5-28.

Bahrain-Merida check the aero properties of various components. Photo: Daniel Geiger / Merida Europe GmbH