Way back in June of 2019, the UCI's list of approved frames and forks saw one of its regular updates, and with it, the eagle-eyed among us noticed a new listing among Giant's fleet of UCI-legal models. A new MY21 TCR. For months, information was sparse and rumours simmered, would it follow the industry trend of dropped seatstays and aero cues?
We spotted something different at the World Road Race Championships in Yorkshire back in September, and when questioned, Greg Van Avermaert confirmed he would be riding aboard the 2021 Giant TCR. Now, here in Adelaide ahead of the Santos Tour Down Under, Simon Geschke and his CCC Team teammates are here with what we understand to be the updated bike.
The bike looks to be an evolution rather than revolution, in that Giant has bucked the industry trend of dropped seatstays in favour of the more traditional double-diamond frame. Giant's ISP (Integrated Seat Post) remains, although it has been treated to an update. The old model's seat tube and seat post are different thicknesses, whereas the new model sees them both sharing the same form.
Other differences include an updated more bow-legged fork, with integrated hose routing for the disc brake version, and an integrated down tube port for your electronic groupset's junction box.
Of all the bikes we got our hands on here in Adelaide, at 6.9kg, the new TCR was the lightest - even with the addition of bottle cage-mounted weights totalling 400 grams and tubeless wheels. Speaking with the CCC mechanics, we learned that with tubular race wheels and no added weights, Geschke's bike comes in at a feathery, yet UCI illegal, 6.4kg - considerably below the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg.
As yet, Giant has announced nothing official about the bike's release, and the model year of 2021 suggests the official launch won't be any time in the immediate future. The UCI sticker's frame code matches that on the approved list, but whether Giant make any minor - or significant - changes between now and the launch date remains to be seen. What we do know, is that the new TCR is race-ready and will be put to the test this week by Simon Geschke and his teammates here at the Santos Tour Down Under.
CCC-Team's Giant bikes aren't alone in their groupset choice. Fourteen WorldTour teams are running Shimano groupsets in 2020, and it's little surprise to see the top-tier Dura-Ace spec providing the shifting and braking. The carbon wheels and tubeless tyres come courtesy of Cadex, although we're told these are only training tyres - normal service will resume with Vittoria providing the race rubber on race days.
Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Simon Geschke's Giant TCR
Simon Geschke's Giant TCR full bike specifications
Frameset: Giant TCR Advanced SL MY21 Rim
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 Rim
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 Rim
Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 11-30
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace HG901
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P dual-sided power meter
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace
Wheelset: Cadex 42 tubeless
Tyres: Cadex Race 25 tubeless
Handlebars: Giant Contact SLR 40cm
Handlebar tape: Giant
Stem: Giant contact SLR 130mm
Pedals: Shimano PD-R9100
Saddle: Cadex Boost
Seat post: Giant ISP
Bottle cages: Giant Airway Sport
Bottles: Elite Fly Team
Rider height: 1.71m
Seat height (from bottom bracket at centre): 720mm
Saddle nose to handlebars (at stem): 560mm