There might fewer miles against the clock in the 2015 Tour de France than in any edition of the race since 1933, but with a lumpy 28km team time trial on stage nine, the peloton’s time trial bikes could still have an important part to play in the outcome of the race.
Tejay van Garderen‘s BMC Timemachine TM01 is the machine charged with putting the American GC hopeful in a position to challenge for the yellow jersey when the race reaches the Pyrenees. And having taken BMC to wins in last year’s World Championship and the team time trial in the Critérium du Dauphiné, this is ceratinly a bike with pedigree.
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Like all time trial bikes, the BMC Timemachine is designed to be as slippery as possible, although the Swiss manufacturer claim that the truncated tube shapes also provide a good level of stiffness and comfort. The frame also features integrated brakes within the fork and below the bottom bracket, while the seat clamp is also hidden.
As is the case on his standard Teammachine road bike, van Garderen is using Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, which is especially useful on time trial bikes as it allows riders to have shifters both on the end of their aero bars and next to brake levers, meaning they can shift down going into corners, and up again when accelerating one the way out.
However, the extra hardware in the form of the junction box can pose a challenge for the team mechanics, and on van Garderen’s BMC Teammachine the inch long box is slightly clumsily located on the side of the stem, attached with a strip of Velcro.
Unlike some of the pure time triallists, van Garderen is running fairly conservative gearing, with a 54/42t setup on his SRM-equipped Dura-Ace chainset, a far cry from the massive 58 tooth rings that we saw on Tony Martin’s Specialized Shiv.
Onto the wheels, van Garderen’s BMC Timemachine comes with a pretty standard choice: Pro disc at the rear and Dura-Ace C40 at the front, both of which are equipped with Continental Pro Ltd tubulars tyres – special rubber only made available to the pro peloton.
Full carbon 3T aerobars complete the front end, with van Garderen’s lanky frame requiring a good few centimetres of stack in order to raise his front end into a sustainable position. The other contact point is the new Fizik Arione VSX saddle, which has the same shape as the standard Arione but with a cut out down the centre.