British riders explain reason for lumps on front of their jerseys during World Championship team time trial

The unusual shapes were the cause of much speculation during the mixed relay in Flanders

The British squad during the Worlds TTT
The British squad during the Worlds TTT
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

The British team time trial squad have explained the the reason for the unusual lumps on the front of their jerseys at the World Championships. 

During the second edition of the Worlds mixed relay TTT in Flanders on Wednesday (September 22), race commentators for GCN Rob Hatch and Michael Hutchinson noticed the shapes on the torsos for the Brits, speculating about the reasoning. 

Speaking after the finish in Bruges, the British Cycling team confirmed that they had opted to place their race radios down the front of the jerseys, rather than their usual place in the back pocket of a skinsuit, both for safety and aerodynamic purposes. 

Team leader Dan Bigham said: “Well, it's twofold really, more on the safety front - obviously you never want to crash but if you crash with the radio on your back it really hurts. 

“It's also not very good aerodynamically and it's just a better place to put it. Have you ever tried putting a radio down your back?” 

Joss Lowden, one of the engines in the women’s side of the TTT team, joked: “I like putting it down my front because I like to feel like I’m better endowed.” 

On whether the innovation is allowed under strict UCI rules for time trials, Alex Dowsett said: “You can put it anywhere and we put it on our front because it's got a nasty lump on the back where airflow is quite important. 

“The UCI checks us from the start, they check the bikes before we come to the start as well, they look us up and down and end of the day they let us roll down the start ramp or they don’t.”

The Brits were one of the strongest early squads to take on the 44km mixed TTT in Belgium, but eventually slipped down to fifth as Germany stormed to a dominant victory, the Netherlands and Italy taking silver and bronze respectively. 

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Following their bronze medal from the inaugural 2019 Worlds mixed relay, Britain finished the 2021 race 55 seconds off the gold medal, and 17 seconds slower than the podium places.  

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.