Aqua Blue Sport boss Rick Delaney has pinned the blame squarely on the team’s 3T Strada bikes after Mark Christian was put out of contention on stage six of the Tour de Suisse, with the win eventually going to Christian’s breakaway companion Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb).
Christian had been part of the early break, until he was dropped with 31.7km remaining after he dropped his chain while simply riding along towards the rear of the breakaway.
The Manxman had choice words for his bike after finishing the stage, while team boss Rick Delaney took to Twitter to voice his frustration.
“Just want to say what a privilege it was to be behind Mark Christian today the Tour de Suisse,” Delaney tweeted. “So so strong., only to be dropped by mechanical no 4698 this season… This lab rat thing is now costing results. sorry again Mark!!
The 3T Strada is the first bike to be used by a professional road team to have just a single chainring on the front, with the team’s bikes being decked out with SRAM Force 1 groupsets.
This groupset comes with a crankset with SRAM’s X-Sync technology, which has different shaped teeth that “engage the chain earlier than traditional triangle shaped teeth” and, according to SRAM, help to reduce the chances of riders suffering a dropped chain.
On the team’s website, Christian said that he was “absolutely devastated” at having his chances of victory scuppered by a mechanical issue.
However he can take solace that his efforts on Thursday saw him move to the top of the mountains classification, just one point above Søren Kragh Andersen, with two road stages remaining.
Both 3T and SRAM have been contacted for comment.