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Gallery: Time trial bikes at the Tour's opening prologue

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Ag2r-La Mondiale's Kuota Kalibur time trial bike.

Ag2r-La Mondiale's Kuota Kalibur time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tidy internal cable routing on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bikes.

Tidy internal cable routing on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider Bert Grabsch prefers an extra-low handlebar position so Specialized had to make a special batch just for him.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider Bert Grabsch prefers an extra-low handlebar position so Specialized had to make a special batch just for him. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) bars look to be particularly grippy.

Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) bars look to be particularly grippy. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) Specialized S-Works Shiv sits on the work stand a few hours before his start in the 2012 Tour de France prologue.

Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) Specialized S-Works Shiv sits on the work stand a few hours before his start in the 2012 Tour de France prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The threaded bit on the bottom of Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) Specialized S-Works Shiv stem acts as a barrel adjuster, pushing a piece of housing that's embedded inside.

The threaded bit on the bottom of Tony Martin's (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) Specialized S-Works Shiv stem acts as a barrel adjuster, pushing a piece of housing that's embedded inside. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had a fleet of Zipp aero clincher wheels at his disposal for the prologue, including these carbon-rimmed flat clincher discs - which aren't even listed on Zipp's web site.

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had a fleet of Zipp aero clincher wheels at his disposal for the prologue, including these carbon-rimmed flat clincher discs - which aren't even listed on Zipp's web site. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A digital clock lets all of the Rabobank riders keep track of time while warming up.

A digital clock lets all of the Rabobank riders keep track of time while warming up. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank brought its own misting machine to help keep riders from overheating during warm-up.

Rabobank brought its own misting machine to help keep riders from overheating during warm-up. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank's Giant Trinity Advanced SL handlebars debuted four years ago but they still look modern.

Rabobank's Giant Trinity Advanced SL handlebars debuted four years ago but they still look modern. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Giant's rear-mounted front brake was a novel idea when they were introduced but we expect the next generation to be better integrated.

Giant's rear-mounted front brake was a novel idea when they were introduced but we expect the next generation to be better integrated. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Team Movistar's Pinarello Graal time trial bike.

Team Movistar's Pinarello Graal time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's Deda Elementi time trial cockpits.

Lotto-Belisol's Deda Elementi time trial cockpits. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice had a standard Mavic Cosmic Carbone 80 front wheel fitted instead of the newer Cosmic CXR 80.

Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice had a standard Mavic Cosmic Carbone 80 front wheel fitted instead of the newer Cosmic CXR 80. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's Andre Greipel sported the new Campagnolo Bora Ultra aero cranks on his Ridley Dean.

Lotto-Belisol's Andre Greipel sported the new Campagnolo Bora Ultra aero cranks on his Ridley Dean. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The non-driveside Campagnolo Bora Ultra aero crankarm is notably deep.

The non-driveside Campagnolo Bora Ultra aero crankarm is notably deep. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol captain Jurgen van den Broeck had a new Campagnolo disc wheel fitted to his Ridley Dean today. We don't have specific details on it at the moment but the full carbon construction is certainly lighter than the antiquated model Campagnolo currently offers and the freehub body is finally properly sized for an 11-speed cassette.

Lotto-Belisol captain Jurgen van den Broeck had a new Campagnolo disc wheel fitted to his Ridley Dean today. We don't have specific details on it at the moment but the full carbon construction is certainly lighter than the antiquated model Campagnolo currently offers and the freehub body is finally properly sized for an 11-speed cassette. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The split-blade fork on Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Dean time trial bikes is said to pull air out away from the wheel.

The split-blade fork on Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Dean time trial bikes is said to pull air out away from the wheel. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Dean time trial bike.

Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Dean time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol riders were using a new Lazer time trial helmet during today's prologue. In keeping with current trends, there are no forward-facing vents at all (likely for better aerodynamics). Two lateral ridges on the top are presumably there based on wind tunnel testing.

Lotto-Belisol riders were using a new Lazer time trial helmet during today's prologue. In keeping with current trends, there are no forward-facing vents at all (likely for better aerodynamics). Two lateral ridges on the top are presumably there based on wind tunnel testing. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Campagnolo's new EPS time trial shifters were installed on the Lotto-Belisol team bikes.

Campagnolo's new EPS time trial shifters were installed on the Lotto-Belisol team bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The UCI has apparently taken issue with this sort of tape.

The UCI has apparently taken issue with this sort of tape. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rabobank's Giant Trinity Advanced SL time trial bike.

Rabobank's Giant Trinity Advanced SL time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saddles took a slight tilt upward on many bikes to help riders maintain their positions while tucked. The UCI recently decided that add-on friction material wasn't allowed unless it was built into the saddle.

Saddles took a slight tilt upward on many bikes to help riders maintain their positions while tucked. The UCI recently decided that add-on friction material wasn't allowed unless it was built into the saddle. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun mechanics resorted to lots of electrical tape and zip-ties for this SRM PowerControl 7 computer head.

Saur-Sojasun mechanics resorted to lots of electrical tape and zip-ties for this SRM PowerControl 7 computer head. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Look Ergostem on this Saur-Sojasun time trial bike was noticeably unlabeled. The team's bike sponsor is Time.

The Look Ergostem on this Saur-Sojasun time trial bike was noticeably unlabeled. The team's bike sponsor is Time. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Panaracer tubulars on the Saur-Sojasun time trial bikes.

Panaracer tubulars on the Saur-Sojasun time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The paint job on this Saur-Sojasun time trial bike was so convincing that we didn't even notice at first that it's actually a Trek Speed Concept, not a Time RXR. Saur-Sojasun had at least two of them in its pit area today.

The paint job on this Saur-Sojasun time trial bike was so convincing that we didn't even notice at first that it's actually a Trek Speed Concept, not a Time RXR. Saur-Sojasun had at least two of them in its pit area today. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Several Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Specialized S-Works Shiv time trial bikes had down tube water bottle holes that were never drilled through.

Several Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank Specialized S-Works Shiv time trial bikes had down tube water bottle holes that were never drilled through. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Specialized S-Works Shiv time trial bike.

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Specialized S-Works Shiv time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Castelli's Steve Smith checks in on the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's new skinsuits.

Castelli's Steve Smith checks in on the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's new skinsuits. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The handlebar setup of Vacansoleil-DCM's Bianchi Pico Carbon time trial bikes.

The handlebar setup of Vacansoleil-DCM's Bianchi Pico Carbon time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bianchi claims the chain stay port on Vacansoleil-DCM's Pico Carbon time trial bikes improves stiffness.

Bianchi claims the chain stay port on Vacansoleil-DCM's Pico Carbon time trial bikes improves stiffness. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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It's funny how things that were once touted as aero are looking downright dated today.

It's funny how things that were once touted as aero are looking downright dated today. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun riders were mostly aboard the Time RXR for Saturday's prologue.

Saur-Sojasun riders were mostly aboard the Time RXR for Saturday's prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Rabobank rear wheel was unlabeled but it looks like a HED disc to us.

This Rabobank rear wheel was unlabeled but it looks like a HED disc to us. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There's a lot going on around the bottom bracket of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept time trial bikes, including a battery mount, hidden rear brake, and a wireless speed and cadence sensor.

There's a lot going on around the bottom bracket of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept time trial bikes, including a battery mount, hidden rear brake, and a wireless speed and cadence sensor. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This giant decal covers up the carbon 'spokes' of a Lightweight disc wheel.

This giant decal covers up the carbon 'spokes' of a Lightweight disc wheel. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The ultra-clean front end of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept.

The ultra-clean front end of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) rode a Trek Speed Concept similar to this one to a victory in today's prologue.

Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) rode a Trek Speed Concept similar to this one to a victory in today's prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The distinctly squared-off trailing edges of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept time trial bike.

The distinctly squared-off trailing edges of Radioshack-Nissan's Trek Speed Concept time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Radioshack-Nissan runs seatposts that are slightly shallower than what's sold on consumer bikes.

Radioshack-Nissan runs seatposts that are slightly shallower than what's sold on consumer bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The UCI doesn't allow Radioshack-Nissan to run the rear cover on the Speed Concept (saying it's a fairing) so team bikes make do with slightly exposed cabling.

The UCI doesn't allow Radioshack-Nissan to run the rear cover on the Speed Concept (saying it's a fairing) so team bikes make do with slightly exposed cabling. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun's Vision time trial bars.

Saur-Sojasun's Vision time trial bars. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM's Bianchi Pico Carbon time trial machines.

Vacansoleil-DCM's Bianchi Pico Carbon time trial machines. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The seat stays of the Cannondale Slice hug the rear wheel until just above the dropouts while the chain stays and noticeably angled top-to-bottom.

The seat stays of the Cannondale Slice hug the rear wheel until just above the dropouts while the chain stays and noticeably angled top-to-bottom. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This Ag2r-La Mondiale rider needs a hinged stem to get low enough on his Kuota Kalibur time trial machine.

This Ag2r-La Mondiale rider needs a hinged stem to get low enough on his Kuota Kalibur time trial machine. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) runs an ultra-low handlebar position on his time trial bike.

2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (BMC) runs an ultra-low handlebar position on his time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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BMC's TimeMachine TM01 time trial bikes enjoy a bake in the sun before the start of the 2012 Tour de France prologue.

BMC's TimeMachine TM01 time trial bikes enjoy a bake in the sun before the start of the 2012 Tour de France prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Look 596 of French team Cofidis.

The Look 596 of French team Cofidis. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Ordu.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Ordu. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The UCI has recently decreed that stick-on grip tape isn't allowed. We saw lots of upturned saddles and saddles with residual adhesive from patches that had been hastily removed.

The UCI has recently decreed that stick-on grip tape isn't allowed. We saw lots of upturned saddles and saddles with residual adhesive from patches that had been hastily removed. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Europcar's riders used a mix of the new Colnago K.Zero and old Flight time trial bikes for Saturday's prologue.

Europcar's riders used a mix of the new Colnago K.Zero and old Flight time trial bikes for Saturday's prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The new Colnago K.Zero of team Europcar features integrated brakes front and rear.

The new Colnago K.Zero of team Europcar features integrated brakes front and rear. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated rear brakes allow for a sleek seat stay setup on Europcar's new Colnago K.Zeros.

The integrated rear brakes allow for a sleek seat stay setup on Europcar's new Colnago K.Zeros. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Threaded bottom bracket shells on Europcar's Colnago K.Zero frames.

Threaded bottom bracket shells on Europcar's Colnago K.Zero frames. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vittoria Corsa EVO SC tubular tires for Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA.

Vittoria Corsa EVO SC tubular tires for Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The aluminum stem on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA time trial bikes features a cutout for the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 control box.

The aluminum stem on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA time trial bikes features a cutout for the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 control box. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ag2r-La Mondiale riders used Reynolds' ultralight RZR 92 wheelsets for the opening prologue.

Ag2r-La Mondiale riders used Reynolds' ultralight RZR 92 wheelsets for the opening prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sleek PRO Missile Evo integrated aero bars on the front end of Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA.

Sleek PRO Missile Evo integrated aero bars on the front end of Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Felt builds a battery mount into the bottom of the down tube on Argos-Shimano's DA time trial bikes but the team puts them up behind the seatpost.

Felt builds a battery mount into the bottom of the down tube on Argos-Shimano's DA time trial bikes but the team puts them up behind the seatpost. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Shimano Di2-equipped teams ran a wide range of battery mounts. Argos-Shimano places them behind the seatpost but others put them beneath the down tube, underneath the chain stay, or inside the frame.

Shimano Di2-equipped teams ran a wide range of battery mounts. Argos-Shimano places them behind the seatpost but others put them beneath the down tube, underneath the chain stay, or inside the frame. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated rear brake on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA.

The integrated rear brake on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA before the prologue of the 2012 Tour de France.

Marcel Kittel's (Argos-Shimano) Felt DA before the prologue of the 2012 Tour de France. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) runs a clipped Selle Italia SLR Team Edition saddle on his Felt DA.

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) runs a clipped Selle Italia SLR Team Edition saddle on his Felt DA. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The sleek seat stay-seat tube junction on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA time trial bikes.

The sleek seat stay-seat tube junction on Argos-Shimano's Felt DA time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Europcar team mechanics seem to be using the trainer quick-release to both hold the bike in the trainer and the wheel in the frame - which doesn't seem like a good idea to us.

Europcar team mechanics seem to be using the trainer quick-release to both hold the bike in the trainer and the wheel in the frame - which doesn't seem like a good idea to us. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The seatpost clamp on Europcar's new Colnago K.Zero time trial frames comprises just a slight bump to the top tube section.

The seatpost clamp on Europcar's new Colnago K.Zero time trial frames comprises just a slight bump to the top tube section. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Integrated brakes front and rear on the Wilier Triestina TwinFoil leave the seat stays nice and clean.

Integrated brakes front and rear on the Wilier Triestina TwinFoil leave the seat stays nice and clean. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vision carbon fiber aero bars on the front end of Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice.

Vision carbon fiber aero bars on the front end of Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated brakes on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bikes are essentially just mini V-brakes.

The integrated brakes on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bikes are essentially just mini V-brakes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated rear brake on the Liquigas-Cannondale Cannondale Slice time trial bike fits neatly underneath the chain stays.

The integrated rear brake on the Liquigas-Cannondale Cannondale Slice time trial bike fits neatly underneath the chain stays. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Campagnolo marketing and communications director Lorenzo Taxis (left) and company president Valentino Campagnolo pay a visit to their old friends at Liquigas-Cannondale.

Campagnolo marketing and communications director Lorenzo Taxis (left) and company president Valentino Campagnolo pay a visit to their old friends at Liquigas-Cannondale. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cannondale's Si Aero crankset features a solid chainring spider whose shape flows cleanly around the crankarm.

Cannondale's Si Aero crankset features a solid chainring spider whose shape flows cleanly around the crankarm. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The fork on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice features an external steerer and an integrated front brake.

The fork on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice features an external steerer and an integrated front brake. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice time trial machine.

Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice time trial machine. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice is still fitted with previous-generation SRAM Red.

Vincenzo Nibali's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale Slice is still fitted with previous-generation SRAM Red. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lampre-ISD's Wilier Triestina TwinFoil time trial bikes are certainly hard to miss what with their incredibly loud paint jobs.

Lampre-ISD's Wilier Triestina TwinFoil time trial bikes are certainly hard to miss what with their incredibly loud paint jobs. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The unique split fork of Lampre-ISD's Wilier Triestina TwinFoil time trial bikes.

The unique split fork of Lampre-ISD's Wilier Triestina TwinFoil time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated brake gives the new Colnago K.Zero bikes of team Europcar a sleek and clean look.

The integrated brake gives the new Colnago K.Zero bikes of team Europcar a sleek and clean look. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Colnago offers the new K.Zero with an integrated cockpit but Europcar bikes were equipped with Deda bars.

Colnago offers the new K.Zero with an integrated cockpit but Europcar bikes were equipped with Deda bars. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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PRO Missile Evo integrated aero bars on the front end of FDJ-BigMat's Lapierre Aerostorm time trial bikes.

PRO Missile Evo integrated aero bars on the front end of FDJ-BigMat's Lapierre Aerostorm time trial bikes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Lapierre Aerostorm time trial bikes of FDJ-BigMat.

The Lapierre Aerostorm time trial bikes of FDJ-BigMat. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Garmin-Sharp riders were almost entirely on new Cervélo P5 machines for Saturday's opening prologue. 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal's machine is in the foreground.

Garmin-Sharp riders were almost entirely on new Cervélo P5 machines for Saturday's opening prologue. 2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal's machine is in the foreground. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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_V6O6764 - Abbas Saeiditanha of Azad make a break away

_V6O6764 - Abbas Saeiditanha of Azad make a break away (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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_V6O6764 - Abbas Saeiditanha of Azad make a break away

_V6O6764 - Abbas Saeiditanha of Azad make a break away (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Orica-GreenEdge's Scott Plasma 3 time trial bikes before the opening prologue.

Orica-GreenEdge's Scott Plasma 3 time trial bikes before the opening prologue. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The ultra-sleek Canyon Speedmax CF of Katusha rider Denis Menchov.

The ultra-sleek Canyon Speedmax CF of Katusha rider Denis Menchov. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The sculpted stays on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bike.

The sculpted stays on Liquigas-Cannondale's Cannondale Slice time trial bike. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

This year's Tour de France began with a 6.4km-long prologue around the urban streets of Liege, Belgium – a pan flat, blitzingly fast course that Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan) completed with an average speed of 53.21km/h (33.06mph). Bike choice today was all about aerodynamics and efficiency, not weight.

Most of the gear today was rather standard stuff but a recent UCI technical ruling factored in yet again. This time around, the sport's governing body has decided that add-on friction material (i.e. grip tape) on saddles and handlebars was not permitted if it wasn't originally built into the product itself.

In other words, components with integrated friction features like TT-specific saddles from Prologo, Bontrager, and others are ok but even bicycle-specific accessories like fi'zi:k's grip strip are not. We haven't heard back from the UCI yet so how conventional bar tape fits into this scheme is currently unclear.

Riders still occasionally have a hard time maintaining their positions on the saddle, though, and now have to resort to other measures. Without the ability to increase friction, riders are now tilting the saddle noses upward slightly, maxing out the 3° variance currently allowed by the UCI.

There were a few new bits in the team pit areas, too. Lotto-Belisol captain Jurgen van den Broeck's Ridley Dean was fitted with what we're told is a new disc wheel from Campagnolo, which will likely replace the ancient Ghibli. We have no confirmed technical information at present but the full-carbon construction is guaranteed to be heaps lighter than the Ghibli with its aluminum tire bed and heavy sides. Van den Broeck's disc wheel was also equipped with an 11-speed cassette, which won't fit on a Ghibli.

Lotto-Belisol riders also sported new Lazer aero helmets for today's prologue. In keeping with recent trends, the new lid has no forward-facing vents in an effort to improve aerodynamics, plus a gigantic shield to divert air around the face. Also visible were two ridges running left-to-right – perhaps an offshoot of similar features used on the team's time trial bikes intended to keep air 'stuck' to the surface.

We didn't see any new items in the Saur-Sojasun team area but we did still spot one peculiarity. Time is the team's official bike sponsor but two camouflaged Trek Speed Concepts were hidden amongst the sponsor-correct RXR aero bikes. Interesting indeed.

Click here to view the image gallery.