Aqua Blue Sport have unveiled the bike that they will be using for the 2018 season: a 3T Strada with only a single chainring at the front.
The bike, which will be painted in the team's blue and gold colours, will be equipped with SRAM's Force 1 groupset, which is designed to work a single chainring at the front and a wide-range cassette at the back.
Although the rest of the component choices are yet to be confirmed, the choice of a single ring setup will make Aqua Blue the first major professional team to use such a system, and could present a few challenges to the riders when trying to decide on gear ratios for mountain stages where they face steep climbs and fast descents.
Speaking after the launch of the new bike, Aqua Blue Sport general manager Stephen Moore said the team were looking forward to trying out the new system after riding Ridley bikes equipped with Shimano components for their debut season this year.
"SRAM is the gold-standard in drivetrains, in particular for 1x," Moore said.
"It is great they have recognised what Aqua Blue Sport has accomplished in its first year and we are honoured they have chosen us as a team they will support in 2018. It’s not often that a young team like ours obtains a drivetrain partnership like this."
Watch: Everything you need to know about SRAM 1x
SRAM is also pleased with the new partnership, with the team giving it a chance to show off the capabilities of its 1x groupset.
"With 3T launching the world’s first dedicated 1x road frame and Aqua Blue Sport choosing it as their
team bike for 2018, we knew we wanted to be involved in this project, said Jason Phillips, sponsorship director at SRAM.
"It fits with our product innovations, and both 3T and Aqua Blue Sport will be perfect partners to test our 1x drivetrain options to the extreme.
"In only its first year at the top level, Aqua Blue Sport has already made a name for itself and SRAM is enthusiastic to be a part of their progress in 2018 and beyond."