Mark Cavendish finished just five seconds down on Fabian Cancellara in Saturday's short prologue at the Tour of California. We took a sneak peek at the Columbia team pits to check out the new Highroad TT bike.
Cavendish put much of Saturday's success down to his Highroad branded time trial bike.
>>> The best time trial bikes and triathlon bikes: a buyer's guide
"It's unbelievable, it's 100 per cent power transmission. I went training in my 53, I normally push 53x11, and I came back from the training lap and said I need a 55."
Columbia Team boss Bob Stapleton wouldn't say who was making the bikes, but it's impossible to miss the striking resemblance to last year's Giant TT frames.
"This is a bike that was developed with outside engineering," Stapleton said. "I can't tell you who manufactures it, I'm legally restricted from telling you that, but that is a different bike from what we rode last year."
The team has put considerable effort in to the bike, enlisting the help of experts from Formula One and other industries to maximise the aerodynamics and the way the carbon is manipulated.
Stapleton also denied that the alloy section below the tri bars was an illegal faring. "It's totally UCI compliant, it's also available to be a fluid reservoir and it meets all UCI rules, unlike some other TT bikes that are out on the course right now. So if those rules are enforced, our bikes will pass and maybe some others won't.
"Every team noticed at the Worlds that the UCI regulations would be strictly enforced, and everyone got a letter in January, and you can see some tension about that even in this race."
The bottom of the tri bars' alloy section bolts to the front of the fork, which, according to Adam Hanson gives it significantly greater rigidity and therefore improved handling.
"One of the other things I like about it is that it's a really nice bike to ride," Stapleton continued. "It's comfortable, it's stable, and the guys can stay in their position and produce maximum power for a long time. It's also stable in the wind, it's just a really a nice riding bike."
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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers.
Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!
SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING
Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace
TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars
Gravel bike: N/A
Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel
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