Giro d’Italia 2009: The big preview>>>
Garmin-Slipstream will line-up on the Lido di Venezia in Italy this Saturday looking to repeat their time time trial victory of last year.
The American team won in Palermo in 2008 ahead of CSC and Highroad to put Christian Vande Velde in the first pink jersey of the race, something they’ll be looking to repeat this year.
As winners of the team time trial in Qatar, the Argyle army are hotly tipped for the win, not least because they’re so well kitted out.
Cycling Weekly was invited to their pre-giro training camp at their base in Girona last week, where the team put their Felt time trial bikes through their paces, and got to use a new time trial specific Dura Ace electronic gear shifting system.
The Shimano kit had only arrived on the Thursday, but the riders were using it the following day during their drills.
Above: Double Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins shows off his Felt TT bike. Note the chainring. Although it’s only a 52 ring it looks larger due to it’s elyptical shape. The idea of using an elyptical chainring is not new, but neither is it proven to give any benefit.
The thinking behind the ring is that at the pedalling deadspots (at the bottom of the pedal revolution and just before the top) the size of the ring is reduced, therefore making it easier to turn. Wiggins is using the same rings on his standard road bike. The rings are made by Osymetric.com, a company based in Nice, France.
He was one of the few riders to be using the deeper Zipp 1080 at the rear with a standard 808 rim on the front.
(By the way, check out the hair. There isn’t any. Bradley gets his hair cut off when he’s serious. Pink jersey on Saturday anyone?)
Above: Christian Vande Velde uses the same set up as Wiggins but isn’t sold on the chainrings, preferring standard Dura Ace 7900.
Above and below: The new shifters on the tri-bar extensions were only delivered to the team on the Thursday, the day before we got there, but they were impressed by the way they performed.
Although standard shifters aren’t bulky, these shifters cut down the frontal area even more and allow a rider to shift gears with minimal movement in the fingers.
Above: The rider can also change gear when covering the breaks with these two small buttons situated in the hood of the brake caliper. This allows the rider to shift gear when sprinting out of a corner or when braking coming in to a corner. Again, frontal area of these calipers are kept to a minimum.
Above: The electric cables coming out of the back of the tri bars may look a bit messy but they’re out of the airflow here. They do however flow in to the frame to keep the carefully constructed tube profiles from being distorted. Note the cables coming from both sets of shifters.
Above: The battery pack for motors in the mechs is tucked away neatly behind the bottom bracket. The rear brake caliper is also hidden here to keep the airflow as smooth as possible over the top of the bike.
Above: A closer look at that chainring.
|Giro d’Italia 2009 links|
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