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Back-to-racing tech gallery: What's new in the pro peloton?

Bike racing is back! Quelle joie! 

With such a long season hiatus, it seemed almost certain that cycling brands would sneak a few as-yet-unreleased innovations into the peloton while we weren't looking, but you can't get much past the beady eyes of the Cyclingnews tech team, so here's a look at what we've spotted, as well as a few cool additions we couldn't ignore. 

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New Canyon Aeroad

Bike racing is back, and during the hiatus, someone got a new bike... Warren Barguil seen here riding what we can only assume to be the new Canyon Aeroad - note the lack of cables on show (Image credit: Courtesy)
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New Canyon Aeroad

Here's a closer look at the new bike, definitely an aero bike, and almost certainly the new Aeroad, which has been rumoured for around 12 months already (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Richie Porte SRAM AXS Bontrager shoes

Something else that's new: This black chainring for SRAM users, spotted here on Richie Porte's bike at the Criterium du Dauphine. He also seems to be wearing some new shoes here... (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Jasper Stuyven new bontrager XXX shoes

...the same shoes are seen here on the feet of Jasper Stuyven, they look to be a vented version of the Bontrager XXX Road shoes (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Bauke Mollema Bontrager XXX shoes

...and again, this time on the feet of Bauke Mollema at Il Lombardia. The instep is reminiscent of the old Bontrager XXX LE shoes (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Wout van Aert New Shimano S-Phyre Shoes

It looks like Wout van Aert is also sporting some new shoes. These seem to be Shimano S-Phyre RC9 shoes, which we caught a glimpse of at the Tour Down Under in January (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Matej Mohoric Berk shoes

Matej Mohoric was wearing some neat looking shoes at Il Lombardia too, and while they're not brand new, they're a rare sight in the WorldTour. They come from carbon fibre specialists, Berk Composites, and weigh just 175g per shoe (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jack Haig S-Works 7 shoes

These are NOT Specialized S-Works 7 shoes... honest (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tadej Pogacar Scicon Sunglasses

It seems Tadej Pogačar has found himself some new cycling sunglasses from Scicon (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fernando Gaviria Scicon Sunglasses

Gaviria too. Seen here sporting the new Aerowing sunglasses at Milan San Remo (Image credit: Scicon)
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Egan Bernal Oakley Sutro Origins

Riders faces may be hidden, but the new tech remains fully on show - such as these custom Oakley Sutro Origins worn by Egan Bernal (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Remco Evenepoel new Oakley Sutro sunglasses

Remco Evenepoel has been wearing Oakley Sutro glasses for a while, but there's something missing on these - namely, the bottom half of the frame (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Marcus Burghardt Roval Rapide CLX wheels Turbo Rapidair tyres

With the launch of Roval's new wheels, we were surprised at their lack of tubeless compatibility, however Marcus Burghardt was spotted at Milano-Torino using them with Turbo RapidAir tubeless tyres - does he know something we don't? (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Remco Evenepoel Turbo Cotton tyres

Evenepoel again, but we're focussed on his tyres this time, which are definitely Turbo Cottons, and we're almost certain they're clinchers (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Florian Senechal Turbo Cotton tyres

If they're not clinchers, why do Deceuninck-QuickStep have CLX50 tubulars in the background? Clinchers in the WorldTour is not unheard of, but incredibly rare (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Egan Bernal Pinarello with Lightweight wheels

Talking of wheel choice, it seems Ineos are still using those £5,000 wheels from Lightweight (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Matteo Jorgensen Movistar custom kit

Movistar ran a competition to design its kit, then auctioned it off for Spanish Red Cross and Italian Civil Protection Department. They then wore the new kit at Strade Bianche and we think it looks great (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tomasz Marczynski custom helmet

Talking of custom, here's Polish rider Tomasz Marczyński, wearing a custom helmet at the Tour de Pologne... (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tomasz Marczynski custom shoes

...He's also got some matchy matchy shoes to go with it (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Mike Woods custom shoes

Mike Woods is also sporting a pair of custom kicks, but he's foregone the aero socks that are available to him (Image credit: Getty Images)

In the few weeks since racing's return, we've had some incredible headlines already. Wout Van Aert has almost single-handedly brought about a resurgence of rim brakes; which he employed to win Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and Stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné. However, fighting in the disc brake corner is Remco Evenepoel, who, until his horrific accident at Il Lombardia, was seemingly incapable of losing, taking his fourth GC victory - from four stage race starts - of the year.

However, it's not the riders we've been looking at. We've been taking a closer look at the tech they're using, the shoes they're wearing and the sunglasses they're sporting, to see what new tech has snuck into the peloton under the radar. Scroll through the gallery above to see what we found.

That new Canyon

Almost a year ago, rumours started to circulate that Canyon was about to drop a new Aeroad after Mathieu van der Poel was seen riding something a little different to the available model during September's Belgian semi-classics. He then went on to ride the World Championships in Yorkshire on the 'old' model, and the rumours faded into the distance. However, the rumours are very much back up and running, because Warren Barguil has been spotted aboard the same Canyon aero bike at the Critérium du Dauphiné. 

Checking the UCI list of approved frames and forks, there's been an 'Aeroad CFR Disc R065' approved since September 2019, so putting two and two together, we're pretty sure you're looking at the new Aeroad. 

The current Aeroad features in our guide to the best aero road bikes, we wonder if the new one will stand up to the high bar set by today's crop of aero bikes. Hopefully, Canyon doesn't make us wait another year before we can find out.

Shoes, glorious shoes

One of the few things to sneak its way into the pro ranks since the break is updated footwear, noticeable across a few teams. Something Trek-Segafredo riders have quietly complained about for a while now is the breathability of the Bontrager XXX Road shoes. Richie Porte was sporting custom Bontrager XXX shoes at the Tour Down Under, but this time Bontrager has gone one step further (pun very much intended), integrating the mesh instep of the old XXX LE shoes. 

However, perhaps more excitingly is Shimano's offering. Wout van Aert - among others - has been sporting some new kicks for his recent victories. It's clear they are Shimano S-Phyres (it says as much on the heel), but beyond that, we're unsure. We can only assume they will replace Shimano's best cycling shoes, the S-Phyre RC9. 

Sunglasses

There is also a host of new eyewear on show, and if the WorldTour is anything to go by, our guide to the best cycling sunglasses will soon be due for an overhaul. 

First up, Scicon has teased the world with its new Aerowing sunglasses, as seen being worn by UAE Team Emirates' Fernando Gaviria and Tadej Pogačar. 

Next, Oakley has custom glasses almost everywhere, including its Kokoro collection and a custom pair of Sutro Origins on the face of Egan Bernal. 

Most excitingly for us, however, is the new pair of half-frame Sutro glasses worn by Remco Evenepoel. Sadly, we're not sure when - or even if - they'll be made available to the public. 

The curious case of Roval wheels

Roval launched two new sets of wheels a few months ago, the Rapide CLX aero wheels, and the Alpinist CLX lightweight wheels. Neither are tubeless compatible and, as far as we know, neither are available in a tubular guise. 

However, Marcus Burghardt is using them with S-Works Turbo RapidAir tyres, the tubeless tyre within Specialized's range, albeit we cannot see a valve nut, suggesting he's using them with inner tubes. Remco Evenepoel and many of his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates have been using Turbo Cotton tyres. Turbo Cottons have previously been made available in tubular form, but as far as we know, the rims are not. So riders are either choosing or (more likely) being forced to race with inner tubes, as for why, we're at a loss. 

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Josh Croxton

Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.