Team Sky’s new weapon in the time trial
This article originally appeared on Bikeradar
Bradley Wiggins’s winning margins in the Tour de France last year were built on excellent performances in the time trials. He accrued almost two minutes in the two key time trials on stages 9 and 19 over his rivals and teammate Chris Froome, who finished second.
Dominating in the time trial has been a tactic Wiggins has used with huge effect as a dedicated stage racer. And last week, Team Sky’s bike sponsors, Pinarello, unveiled the brand new Bolide. Could this be the key weapon in the team’s latest objective– victory at this year’s Giro d’Italia?
The 2013 race has more than 90km against the clock on three separate days of racing, though 20.6km of that is a mountain time trial on stage 18.
Wiggins will be the only rider using the new frameset in Sunday's stage 2 17.4km team time trial on the island of Ischia. As such, Team Sky’s mechanics were very protective of the bike when BikeRadar went to photograph it at the team hotel on the outskirts of Naples last night.
In tests, the new frame, made of the same carbon used in the Dogma 65.1 (Torayca 65HM1K), produces 15 percent less drag than its predecessor, the Graal and is five percent lighter too, claims the Italian company.
First impressions are that the Bolide simply looks neater and more aero than the Graal, thanks to the elimination of cabling entering the side of the headtube and the aerofoil shaped tubing. The rear wheel – inserted via horizontal dropouts – also sits extremely close to the frame.
Wiggins is using a mechanical Shimano Dura Ace groupset. The SRM crankset is mounted to a BB86 bottom bracket. The carbon brake levers were made by Pinarello. The cockpit – apart from the bar extensions – are a special unit designed at the UK Sports Institute.
The wheel combination is a tubular HED H3 at the front with a 22mm Veloflex Carbon tyre. At the back is a PRO Carbon Textreme disc with a 25mm Veloflex Carbon tyre. Completing the bike is a Fi’zi:k Ares saddle and Wiggin’s Speedplay pedals.
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