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Despite competing in all three Grand Tours, Lizzie Deignan is still searching for her first win of the 2023 season. But that can all be put right at the World Championships in Glasgow.
The 34-year-old Lidl-Trek rider will be looking to repeat her 2015 women's road race win and she'll do so aboard a Trek Émonda SLR dialed in for the demanding Scottish route.
As Trek's featherweight WorldTour race bike, the Émonda SLR appears well-suited to the job of World Championship race bike for the punchy Glasgow parcours. It uses Trek's 8000 Series OCLV carbon, developed especially for the bike and resulting in its lightest ever layup.
In keeping with the profile of many of today's all-rounders, the Émonda was updated to incorporate aero tubing. The result, Trek says, is a bike that's significantly faster across a variety of terrain than its predecessor - apparently to the tune of 60 seconds per hour on the flats and 18 seconds per hour on a 8% gradient.
Part of the Émonda's aero update focused on the bike's front end. Bontrager created a new Aeolus RSL cockpit for the project, with the integrated bar and stem helping to reduce drag, while also creating a clean aesthetic. The internal cable routing design also means that Trek can 'hide' an encouraging message for Deignan should she ever need it: "Go, go, go, go".
The Lidl-Trek team uses SRAM's top-tier Red AXS groupset across its race bikes. Here Deignan has opted for 50/37t chainset, with 165mm crank arms and an integrated Quarq power meter. If the 50t 'big ring' sounds a little small, remember that it's paired with a SRAM 12-speed cassette that starts with a 10t sprocket. In fact, in gear inches a 50-10 combination is bigger than 54-11.
Deignan uses Bontrager's Aeolus RSL 51 wheels. The 'RSL' stands for 'Race Shop Limited' while the '51' denotes the rim's depth. RSL products have been developed with the aid of the Lidl-Trek riders, and the Aeolus wheels were designed specifically to help the pro riders save a few watts.
Unless there's a late change before the race, Deignan will be rolling on tubeless tan wall Pirelli P Zero Race tyres in a 28mm width.
Given the necessity for riders to use standard team kit, it's often the little individual flourishes on a bike that make it stand out; an unusually long stem here, some tweaked shifter hoods there...
While Deignan's Émonda looks fairly typical in its set up a closer look reveals a neat approach to the required number holder. While some riders opt for a band around the seat post the Lidl-Trek team mechanics have created what looks like a custom alloy number that's been seamlessly bonded onto the seat tube junction so it looks like part of the frame.
Deignan's perch of choice is Bontrager's women-specific saddle, the Anja Pro. It features a full-length cut out, carbon rails and is designed to offer stability when riding in an aggressive, aero position.
The pedals provide another little flourish. Rather than use the regular Time Xpro 10 model, which features a gray body, Deignan clips in to the Trek Factory model to coordinate with the Émonda's red and black colour scheme.
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Luke Friend has worked as a writer, editor and copywriter for twenty five years. Across books, magazines and websites, he's covered a broad range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS. He has an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic. He has been a cycling enthusiast from an early age, partly due to watching the Tour de France on TV. He's a keen follower of bike racing to this day as well as a regular road and gravel rider.
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