Trek-Segafredo riders appeared to be putting a new time trial bike through its paces at the Critérium du Dauphiné on Wednesday, with the bike of choice carrying a very different silhouette to the Speed Concept used in the Giro d'Italia time trial only days prior.
The Trek Speed Concept time trial rigs adopted by Trek-Segafredo riders in the solo event of the Italian stage race, on Sunday, May 30, featured familiar lines: a dramatically curved downtube, mirroring the shape of the rear wheel, and dropped but still sloping seatstays.
The bike of choice for the final stage of the Giro also had rim brakes, with no disc option in the existing Speed Concept line up.
However, days later in France, pictures of Julien Bernard and Jasper Stuyven show a very different bike.
Not only does the time trial bike used in France have disc brakes, it also has seatstays that travel horizontally away from the down tube before falling away in a much more dramatically angular shape.
The front fork still displays the words 'Speed Concept', implying that this might be a re-imagining of the existing chassis as opposed to a brand new creation.
With the new bike on display, Trek-Segafredo joins a host of WorldTour teams racing disc brake time trial bikes, including Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-Quick-Step on the Specialized Shiv, Jumbo Visma on the Cervélo P5 and Movistar on the Canyon Speedmax.
Plenty of teams continue to stick to rim brake models, however. The rim brake testers include Team Ineos who still stick with the traditional stoppers on their Pinarello Dogma road bikes, too. But with several high profile 2021 wheel launches being disc brake only - such as several of Zipp's latest incarnations and the new Campagnolo Bora Ultra wheelset - the direction of travel does beg the question how long the technology will remain an option.
The 16.5 kilometre time trial from Firminy to Roche-La-Molière at the 73rd edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné represents a return of the time trial discipline to the race, after an omission last year - perhaps as a dress rehearsal for the high number of solo miles featuring in this year's Tour de France route.
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