Matt Bottrill's Eddie Soens-winning Giant Propel Advanced SL 1 Disc

We take a closer look at the aerodynamic machine the veteran fastman rode to a stunning solo victory

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel

Photos: Andy Jones

Multiple national time trial champion Matt Bottrill delivered a lesson in aerodynamics when he won the Eddie Soens Memorial road race at Aintree race course on Saturday.

The 41-year-old, who last won the race in 1998, used this super-slippery Giant Propel Advanced SL 1 Disc to break away alone and lap the field on a day of extreme high winds.

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel Advanced SL

Bottrill's Giant is set up like a TT bike down to the aero bottle and ISM PN 1.0 saddle, which is a favourite of time triallists since the split nose allows a rotated, low position without excessive pressure on perineal soft tissue. However, Bottrill still tweeted that he could “hardly walk after yesterday’s effort”, which he compared to a 50-mile time trial.

The top Propel Advanced models are disc-specific, reflecting Giant’s commitment to disc brakes, but in this case they certainly didn’t slow Bottrill down.

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel Advanced

The Propel Advanced SL 1 Disc, the second model in the range after the SL 0, comes with an Ultegra Di2 groupset and Giant Power Pro power meter as standard. The gloss-black/rainbow sparkle paintjob is also standard.

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel Advanced SL

Although it might look off-the-shelf at a glance, every element of the bike has been carefully considered with crucial tweaks made to improve aerodynamics, such as fitting Di2 sprint shifters that allow gear changes without moving the hand position.

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel Advanced SL

Bottrill used 55/44 chainrings with an 11-26 cassette, a big top gear useful for the tailwind section in which he reported he was doing 36-37mph.

The frame is a size L but Bottrill uses 170mm cranks, which open up his hip angle and increase saddle-bar drop.

Speedplay Zero Aero pedals have a dimpled surface, as does the matching Zero Aero cleat. Pedal and cleat together sit almost perfectly flush to minimalise wind drag

Matt Bottrill's Giant Propel Advanced SL

The Giant was running ENVE 7.8 disc wheels with the new style alloy hubs. Bottrill was also using the new tubeless Continental GP5000 tyres.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.