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101 race tech photos from the Tour of Flanders - Gallery

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Jempy Drucker's (BMC Racing) BMC Teammachine SLR01 for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Jempy Drucker's (BMC Racing) BMC Teammachine SLR01 for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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World champion Peter Sagan aboard his new Sagan Collection S-Works Tarmac

World champion Peter Sagan aboard his new Sagan Collection S-Works Tarmac
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The riders lined up ahead of the 2018 Tour of Flanders

The riders lined up ahead of the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The majority of Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe used Specialized's S-Works Hell of the North cobble-specific tyres

The majority of Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe used Specialized's S-Works Hell of the North cobble-specific tyres
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe are also using the new power meter from Specialized in 2018

Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe are also using the new power meter from Specialized in 2018
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Philippe Gilbert shows off the new S-Works Evade helmet

Philippe Gilbert shows off the new S-Works Evade helmet
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Peter Sagan raced aboard an S-Works Tarmac SL6 in the new Sagan Collection colours while his spare bike was in the Sagan Superstar finish

Peter Sagan raced aboard an S-Works Tarmac SL6 in the new Sagan Collection colours while his spare bike was in the Sagan Superstar finish
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Greg Van Avermaet aboard his custom BMC Teammachine SLR01 in the Grote Markt, Antwerp

Greg Van Avermaet aboard his custom BMC Teammachine SLR01 in the Grote Markt, Antwerp
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) was the only rider on the team aboard a Scott Addict as opposed to the Paris-Roubaix winning Scott Foil

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) was the only rider on the team aboard a Scott Addict as opposed to the Paris-Roubaix winning Scott Foil
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Mitchelton-Scott mechanics double-layered the course notes, allowing riders to peel away the first half of the notes once completed

Mitchelton-Scott mechanics double-layered the course notes, allowing riders to peel away the first half of the notes once completed
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Like all the BMC Racing riders, Drucker's Teammachine was equipped with a Shimano R9100-P power meter

Like all the BMC Racing riders, Drucker's Teammachine was equipped with a Shimano R9100-P power meter
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Jempy Drucker's customised Giro Empire SLX

Jempy Drucker's customised Giro Empire SLX
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Drucker's dog Elvis features on the customised shoes

Drucker's dog Elvis features on the customised shoes
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Spare wheels at the ready for Quick-Step Floors

Spare wheels at the ready for Quick-Step Floors
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Philippe Gilbert uses a relatively old Specialized Chicane saddle

Philippe Gilbert uses a relatively old Specialized Chicane saddle
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Quick-Step Floors have added 'The Wolfpack' branding to their team for 2018 to invoke team spirit amongst the riders and fans

Quick-Step Floors have added 'The Wolfpack' branding to their team for 2018 to invoke team spirit amongst the riders and fans
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Philippe Gilbert's (Quick-Step Floors) Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Philippe Gilbert's (Quick-Step Floors) Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Julien Vermote opted to race aboard a Cervelo R5

Julien Vermote opted to race aboard a Cervelo R5
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Ryan Gibbons raced aboard the Cervelo R3

Ryan Gibbons raced aboard the Cervelo R3
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Rotor provide the South African team with cranksets and power meters

Rotor provide the South African team with cranksets and power meters
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Hidden underneath his race notes, Ryan Gibbons used the new Enve Aero SES carbon stem

Hidden underneath his race notes, Ryan Gibbons used the new Enve Aero SES carbon stem
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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John Degenkolb's spare Trek Madone atop one of the Trek-Segafredo team cars

John Degenkolb's spare Trek Madone atop one of the Trek-Segafredo team cars
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Jasper Stuyven had the new Shimano Ultegra RX clutch rear derailleur on his spare Trek Domane

Jasper Stuyven had the new Shimano Ultegra RX clutch rear derailleur on his spare Trek Domane
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The clutch derailleur can be switched on or off to engage the derailleur over cobbles and reduce chain movement and disengaged on flatter surfaces to reduce friction

The clutch derailleur can be switched on or off to engage the derailleur over cobbles and reduce chain movement and disengaged on flatter surfaces to reduce friction
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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What integrated aero cockpits lack in comfort, they make up for in real estate for course notes

What integrated aero cockpits lack in comfort, they make up for in real estate for course notes
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Trek-Segafredo mechanics double check tyre pressures before race sign on

Trek-Segafredo mechanics double check tyre pressures before race sign on
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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A closer look at the file tread tyre pattern and new Bontrager Aeolus XXX 6 wheels

A closer look at the file tread tyre pattern and new Bontrager Aeolus XXX 6 wheels
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bontrager's new XXX handlebars have IsoCore internals to dampen vibrations and a deeper curve on the drops, which Trek say their team riders prefer

Bontrager's new XXX handlebars have IsoCore internals to dampen vibrations and a deeper curve on the drops, which Trek say their team riders prefer
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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John Degenkolb takes advantage of the new Bontrager handlebars as opposed to the integrated aero cockpit that usually features on the Madone framesets

John Degenkolb takes advantage of the new Bontrager handlebars as opposed to the integrated aero cockpit that usually features on the Madone framesets
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Davide Cimolai (Groupama-FDJ) adds grip tape to his seat rails to prevent any slipping on the cobbles

Davide Cimolai (Groupama-FDJ) adds grip tape to his seat rails to prevent any slipping on the cobbles
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team Dimension Data raced on a mix of Cervelo R3, R5 and and S5 framesets

Team Dimension Data raced on a mix of Cervelo R3, R5 and and S5 framesets
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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A closer look at the Muc-Off C3 ceramic chain lube

A closer look at the Muc-Off C3 ceramic chain lube
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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ENVE provide Team Dimension Data with the majority of their finishing kit, as well as wheels

ENVE provide Team Dimension Data with the majority of their finishing kit, as well as wheels
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Team Dimension Data added a touch of motivation to their rider's top tubes

Team Dimension Data added a touch of motivation to their rider's top tubes
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij race aboard Isaac framesets equipped with FFWD wheels and Ritchey finishing kit

Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij race aboard Isaac framesets equipped with FFWD wheels and Ritchey finishing kit
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sometimes simpler is better

Sometimes simpler is better
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Dutch Pro Continental outfit use Vredstein tyres

The Dutch Pro Continental outfit use Vredstein tyres
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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A double-column, two-coloured appraoch for the EF-Drapac course notes

A double-column, two-coloured appraoch for the EF-Drapac course notes
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sep Vanmarcke was running Vittoria Corsa Control 28mm tubulars for the race

Sep Vanmarcke was running Vittoria Corsa Control 28mm tubulars for the race
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Vanmarcke's mechanics removed the Dutchman's power meter with only a few minutes before the race began in an attempt to get bike weight down. The decision brought the bike weight down to 6.81kg

Vanmarcke's mechanics removed the Dutchman's power meter with only a few minutes before the race began in an attempt to get bike weight down. The decision brought the bike weight down to 6.81kg
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sebastian Langeveld's Cannondale was equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series front derailleur

Sebastian Langeveld's Cannondale was equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series front derailleur
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sep Vanmarcke rides a size 58 Cannondale SuperSix

Sep Vanmarcke rides a size 58 Cannondale SuperSix
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sep Vanmarcke's (EF-Drapac) Cannondal SuperSix for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Sep Vanmarcke's (EF-Drapac) Cannondal SuperSix for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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A Dimension Data mechanic applies the course notes ahead of race sign on

A Dimension Data mechanic applies the course notes ahead of race sign on
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team Dimension Data are using Astute saddles for 2018

Team Dimension Data are using Astute saddles for 2018
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Niki Terpstra - the race winner - wears leg warmers cut just above the knee for some extra warmth on the thighs

Niki Terpstra - the race winner - wears leg warmers cut just above the knee for some extra warmth on the thighs
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step-Floors) was also wearing plenty of layers at the race start in the national champion colours of the Czech Republic

Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step-Floors) was also wearing plenty of layers at the race start in the national champion colours of the Czech Republic
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Michal Kwiatkowski adds another layer at the startline

Michal Kwiatkowski adds another layer at the startline
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Kwiatkowski has his Castelli toe covers labelled up

Kwiatkowski has his Castelli toe covers labelled up
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Sep Vanmarcke was also wearing the new POC Ventral helmet

Sep Vanmarcke was also wearing the new POC Ventral helmet
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Vincenzo Nibali at the startline of the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Vincenzo Nibali at the startline of the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Some of the Dimension Data Cervelos had their gold KMC chains coated with Muc-Off's C3 wet ceramic chain lube

Some of the Dimension Data Cervelos had their gold KMC chains coated with Muc-Off's C3 wet ceramic chain lube
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was wrapped up with plenty of layers at the start of the race and stripped down as the kilometers ticked by

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) was wrapped up with plenty of layers at the start of the race and stripped down as the kilometers ticked by
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Wout Van Aert has customised bidons commemorating his cyclocross world championship title

Wout Van Aert has customised bidons commemorating his cyclocross world championship title
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Mitch Docker of EF Education First-Drapac shows off the new POC Ventral semi-aero helmet

Mitch Docker of EF Education First-Drapac shows off the new POC Ventral semi-aero helmet
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Christian Knees asked his Team Sky mechanic to reallign his stem after signing on before the race

Christian Knees asked his Team Sky mechanic to reallign his stem after signing on before the race
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Team Sky's Castelli rain jackets have extended rear flaps for additional coverage of the rear

Team Sky's Castelli rain jackets have extended rear flaps for additional coverage of the rear
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Wout Van Aert's Veranda's Willems-Crelan team use Schwalbe G-One tyres

Wout Van Aert's Veranda's Willems-Crelan team use Schwalbe G-One tyres
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Wout Van Aert's (Veranda's Willems-Crelan) Stevens Xenon for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Wout Van Aert's (Veranda's Willems-Crelan) Stevens Xenon for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Vital Concept Cycling Club raced exclusively on Orbea Orcas for the race

Vital Concept Cycling Club raced exclusively on Orbea Orcas for the race
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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One of the EF Education First-Drapac team cars was an all-electric Tesla

One of the EF Education First-Drapac team cars was an all-electric Tesla
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Groupama-FDJ used a mix of Lapierre Aircode and Xelius framesets

Groupama-FDJ used a mix of Lapierre Aircode and Xelius framesets
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Michael Valgren's (Astana) Argon 18 Gallium Pro for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Michael Valgren's (Astana) Argon 18 Gallium Pro for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Michal Kwiatkowski's spare bike was equipped with a Shimano power meter

Michal Kwiatkowski's spare bike was equipped with a Shimano power meter
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates), who made it into the race's breakaway, raced aboard the new Colnago C64 frameset

Filippo Ganna (UAE Team Emirates), who made it into the race's breakaway, raced aboard the new Colnago C64 frameset
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) went for a more rustic approach to the course notes

Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) went for a more rustic approach to the course notes
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Easily identifiable bottles for Ben Swift. Different riders will usually have different nutrition mixes dependant on physique or metabolism

Easily identifiable bottles for Ben Swift. Different riders will usually have different nutrition mixes dependant on physique or metabolism
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Guillaume Van Keirsbulck split the hellingen and the kassien on his top tube and stem respectively

Guillaume Van Keirsbulck split the hellingen and the kassien on his top tube and stem respectively
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Only minutes from the race start, Van Keirsbulck didn't have any pedals attached to his bike

Only minutes from the race start, Van Keirsbulck didn't have any pedals attached to his bike
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Alexander Kristoff's (UAE Team Emirates) Colnago V2-R in European champion colours for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Alexander Kristoff's (UAE Team Emirates) Colnago V2-R in European champion colours for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic use a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur, Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur, cassette and chain, and a Rotor crankset

WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic use a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur, Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur, cassette and chain, and a Rotor crankset
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Mitchelton-Scott had a mix of FMB and different Continental tubular tyres

Mitchelton-Scott had a mix of FMB and different Continental tubular tyres
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A Groupama-FDJ mechanic applies a waxy chain lube by hand to a riders bike at the race start

A Groupama-FDJ mechanic applies a waxy chain lube by hand to a riders bike at the race start
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Movistar Team riders raced the Tour of Flanders aboard both the Canyon Aeroad and Ultimate framesets

Movistar Team riders raced the Tour of Flanders aboard both the Canyon Aeroad and Ultimate framesets
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Jorge Arcas (Movistar) customises his Fizik saddle to reduce any movement on the saddle

Jorge Arcas (Movistar) customises his Fizik saddle to reduce any movement on the saddle
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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One of the Movistar riders' race notes

One of the Movistar riders' race notes
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Interestingly, Nibali opted for a mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain

Interestingly, Nibali opted for a mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Team Sky had a mix of Stages and Shimano power meters for the race

Team Sky had a mix of Stages and Shimano power meters for the race
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The Pinarello Dogma K10's Dogma Suspension System can increase compliance through remotely to suit the varied terrain of the cobbled Classics

The Pinarello Dogma K10's Dogma Suspension System can increase compliance through remotely to suit the varied terrain of the cobbled Classics
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A few WorldTour teams switch to Elite Ciussi bottle cages for the rough cobbled terrain

A few WorldTour teams switch to Elite Ciussi bottle cages for the rough cobbled terrain
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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UCI staff were at the race start checking bikes for technological fraud

UCI staff were at the race start checking bikes for technological fraud
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bahrain-Merida were another team to use electronic tyre pumps

Bahrain-Merida were another team to use electronic tyre pumps
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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25 Continental Competition RBX tubulars were used by several teams for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

25 Continental Competition RBX tubulars were used by several teams for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Sonny Colbrelli double checks his tyre pressures with a mechanic after sign on

Sonny Colbrelli double checks his tyre pressures with a mechanic after sign on
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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All of the Bahrain-Merida team used Merida Reactos except for Vincenzo Nibali, who opted to race on a Merida Scultura

All of the Bahrain-Merida team used Merida Reactos except for Vincenzo Nibali, who opted to race on a Merida Scultura
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Several riders in the race were equipped with live data transponders, to give an insight into speed, cadence or power

Several riders in the race were equipped with live data transponders, to give an insight into speed, cadence or power
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Vincenzo Nibali's (Bahrain-Merida) Merida Scultura for the 2018 Tour of Flanders

Vincenzo Nibali's (Bahrain-Merida) Merida Scultura for the 2018 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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While other teams opt for electric pumps and digital pressure gauges, Lotto-Soudal use a traditional track pump and analog pressure gauge

While other teams opt for electric pumps and digital pressure gauges, Lotto-Soudal use a traditional track pump and analog pressure gauge
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) raced aboard a Ridley Helium SLX

Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) raced aboard a Ridley Helium SLX
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Each Lotto-Soudal chain was generously lubricated ahead of the race start

Each Lotto-Soudal chain was generously lubricated ahead of the race start
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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One of the top tube course notes for a Lotto-Soudal rider

One of the top tube course notes for a Lotto-Soudal rider
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Marcel Sieberg is one of several Lotto-Soudal riders to affix a strip of handlebar tape on his pedals for some extra comfort

Marcel Sieberg is one of several Lotto-Soudal riders to affix a strip of handlebar tape on his pedals for some extra comfort
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Oliver Naesen's used a CermaicSpeed UFO chain in a colour-coordinated yellow finish for the Belgian national champion

Oliver Naesen's used a CermaicSpeed UFO chain in a colour-coordinated yellow finish for the Belgian national champion
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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French Pro Continental outfit have switched from Orbea to Kuota bikes for the 2018 season

French Pro Continental outfit have switched from Orbea to Kuota bikes for the 2018 season
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A LottoNL-Jumbo rider opts to run handlebar tape to the centre of the Vision Metron 5D aero handlebars

A LottoNL-Jumbo rider opts to run handlebar tape to the centre of the Vision Metron 5D aero handlebars
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A close look at the outer tread pattern on LottoNL-Jumbo's Vittoria tubular tyres

A close look at the outer tread pattern on LottoNL-Jumbo's Vittoria tubular tyres
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Most of the Astana riders ran 26mm FMB tubular tyres

Most of the Astana riders ran 26mm FMB tubular tyres
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Astana have modified their Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleurs with CeramicSpeed's OSPW jockey wheels

Astana have modified their Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleurs with CeramicSpeed's OSPW jockey wheels
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise race aboard Merckx 525 bikes

Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise race aboard Merckx 525 bikes
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Several teams used electronic pumps to get the tyres to the correct pressure ahead of the race start

Several teams used electronic pumps to get the tyres to the correct pressure ahead of the race start
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A Bora-Hansgrohe mechanic files down stem bolts the day before the race

A Bora-Hansgrohe mechanic files down stem bolts the day before the race
(Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)

The 2018 edition of the Tour of Flanders lived up to its reputation as one of the most exciting races on the calendar.

Cobbles, terrible weather, crashes and aggressive racing for 265km ended with a victory for Dutchman Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) after an attack with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) on the final ascent of the Kruisberg, before attacking again for a solo victory.

At the start line in Antwerp, BikeRadar checked out all the bikes and gear pulled out to combat the cobbles and weather of the second Monument of the season.

Keeping the drivetrains running smooth

With 265km of racing and 23 sections of either Kasseien or Hellingen, every watt counts and the last thing any rider wants is an inefficient drivetrain. The wet weather on the morning of Easter Sunday ensured that the teams weren't taking any risks with chains drying out, and lubricants were applied liberally at the start line.

Wax-based and wet-weather-specific lubes were the order of the day, with Team Dimension Data using the distinctive blue Muc-Off C3 Wet Ceramic lube. Meanwhile, Oliver Naesen used a yellow lube to match his Factor O2 in the colours of the Belgian national champion.

Wider rubber… but not that wide

Unlike the brutal pavé of Paris-Roubaix, the cobbles - kasseien - of Flanders aren't as extreme. However, there is plenty of them nonetheless and every rider we saw switched from their usual race tyres to either wider or more robust rubber.

Continental Competition RBX, Vittoria Corsa Control, S-Works Hell of the North and the handmade FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars were the order of the day with riders racing on a mix of 25-28mm tyres.

Disc brakes versus rim brakes

Despite the wet conditions and challenging terrain, not a single rider started the race on disc brakes to the best of our knowledge. A few teams had riders' spare or third bikes equipped with discs but none were spotted at the start line in Antwerp or finish line in Oudenaarde.

Aero-specific versus all-rounders

Mathew Hayman famously became the first rider to win Paris-Roubaix on an aero-specific frameset in 2016 and although aero gains have been proven by a variety of parties, sometimes the pros just prefer an all-around race bike.

Bahrain-Merida and Mitchelton-Scott rode their aero-specific Merida Reacto and Scott Foil respectively, with the exceptions of Vincenzo Nibali and Matteo Trentin riding the all-around race bikes in a Merida Scultura and Scott Addict. Interestingly, both riders were still in the bunch at the sharp end of the race.

Quick-Step Floors riders all rode the new Specialized Tarmac SL6 and had three riders in the top 10, with Peter Sagan also adding a fourth Tarmac into the top-10 standings.

Are thigh warmers the secret to winning De Ronde?

While the rain had largely dried up by the time the peloton hit Oudenaarde for the last time, the start line in Antwerp was a far more miserable affair when it came to the weather.

Neck gaiters, arm and leg warmers, rain jackets and overshoes were common, but perhaps Niki Terpstra's secret to victory was the homemade thigh warmers. Essentially just shortened knee warmers, Terpstra cut his warmers to just above the knee ensuring his thigh muscles had enough coverage to keep the cold temperatures at bay.

Custom derailleurs and mechanical shifting

Astana joined AG2R La Mondiale in customising their Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 rear derailleurs with CeramicSpeed's OSPW oversized jockey wheels. The system claims to reduce friction and improve drivetrain efficiency.

While electronic shifting is the norm at the top level of the sport, multiple Grand Tour and Monument winner Vincenzo Nibali opted for a mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 groupset on his Merida Scultura, while his teammates ran the electronic Dura-Ace R9150 Di2.

Click or swipe through the extensive gallery above to see all the tech on show from the second Monument of the year.