Tinkoff have announced that they will be using HED wheels as their time trial wheels of choice for the 2016 season, while continuing to use Specialized’s in-house Roval wheels for road stages. This will make Tinkoff the second team to partner with HED this year, with Etixx-Quick Step having a similar relationship with the American brand.
The team will have a choice of two front wheels and two rear wheels. The two front wheels are the GT3 and H3 Plus, with the unbranded versions of the former having been ridden by both Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the past. At the back, there’s a choice of the Stinger Disc or the Jet Plus Disc.
Ricardo Scheidecker, Tinkoff’s Technical Director, was naturally delighted about the deal: “In our opinion and within our knowledge, HED provides the best, most reliable and aerodynamic time-trial wheels in the market. Bearing this in mind, we believe we have the fastest time trial wheels available, so we’re definitely confident our riders will get that extra edge thanks to HED in this year’s time trials.”
The first opportunity for the team to use the wheels in anger will come in the opening team time trial at the Tour de San Luis, where Peter Sagan looks like the star attraction. However, given the logistical challenge that the team will face when racing in Argentina, it could be that they choose to leave their time trial equipment at home, in which case we might have to wait until the Ruta del Sol in late February to see the Stinger deployed.