And they're off!

Riders will use their dedicated time trial bicycles for what will barely amount to the blink of an...

Race Tech: Tour de France, July 8, 2007

Riders will use their dedicated time trial bicycles for what will barely amount to the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of the three week-long Tour de France. Nevertheless, sponsors, teams, and mechanics spend an inordinate amount of time, energy, and money into developing the fastest bikes to propel them across the line.

While typically not the lightest bike in the quiver, time trial machines are easily the most visually striking of all the machines we'll see as the peloton winds its way into Paris with CFD-carved lines, NACA-designed tube shapes, and every aero-enhancing tweak and friction-reducing trick that teams can slip through the eyes of the UCI.

This year's opener was won in convincing fashion by Team CSC's Fabian Cancellara, an undeniable favourite but not the home-grown Brit as the host city had hoped; Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) was the highest UK finisher at fourth, 23 seconds back.

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