This article first appeared onBikeRadar.
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) rode to his best-ever finish at this year's Ronde van Vlaanderen, scoring an outstanding eight-place result among a field full of top riders. That he did so well was even more impressive given that he injured his back in an early crash. Thankfully, at least his Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think2 was set up for a long, hard day on the road.
As we've come to expect from Team Sky's race bikes, they're visually rather mundane with just a few bits of light blue to punctuate what's otherwise a straight gloss black frameset. Save for the characteristically curvy rear end and fork blades – and, of course, the enormous Pinarello logos – there's little visual flash to speak of.
Apparently, Sky would rather its race results do the talking and indeed, a few technical details suggested that Thomas's bike was ready for the challenge of the day. Present and accounted for were the usual double-wrapped tape and slighter larger-than-normal 25mm-wide Veloflex Arenberg tubulars (inflated to pressures that team mechanic Gary Blem preferred not to disclose).
Out back, however, was a thoroughly customized saddle from team sponsor fi'zi:k to help the Sky rider deal with the pavé. Thomas's special perch used a standard Arione carbon fiber base and braided carbon fiber rails but was covered with a layer of padding that was both incredibly generous and remarkably soft – so much so that even with fi'zi:k's enviable manufacturing capabilities, it was impossible to keep the cover from wrinkling.
Another custom touch is the unusual 121mm-long stem – exactly 1mm longer than what PRO normally offers to the public. PRO supplies the team with several custom lengths, and although they use similarly shaped extensions to the standard Vibe model, the team stems differ even further from stock fare in that they use sturdier one-piece, four-bolt handlebar clamps instead of the interlocking 'Puzzle Clamp' that everyday riders get.
Otherwise, the build is quite standard-issue with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 group (without supplemental shift buttons), 50mm-deep Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels, Dura-Ace SPD-SL carbon-bodied pedals, and an anatomic-bend aluminum PRO handlebar. Stages Cycling now takes over power meter duties from former supplier SRM, the Garmin Edge 510 computer is fixed to a blacked-out K-Edge mount, and a pair of Elite Ciussi aluminum cages hold tightly on the bottles with the additional help of a few strips of grip tape.
Total weight as shown is 7.54kg (16.62lb).