It's January and that means that the WorldTour descends on Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. The racing itself doesn't get underway until Sunday, and as the riders begin to trickle in as has a boatload of new gear.
WorldTour riders are obligated to wear sponsor gear from 2017 until December 31, even if they've been transferred to a new team, and the Tour Down Under is often the first time we see riders in their new kit.
We've been in the pits with our eyes peeled and cameras ready, and have spotted a few interesting bits of tech.
Helmets, helmets and more helmets
Based in France, HJC has been making motorsports helmets since 1971 and have three cycling lids in their catalogue. The helmet adorned by the Lotto Soudal is yet to appear on the company's website but features similar design elements to the Giro Synthe.
They also had a few sporting ARO3 which is said to be a bit more ventilated
Lotto-Soudal has swapped from Lazer to HFC lids for 2018
A few riders from Bora-Hansgrohe are wearing a previously unseen model which appears to be an update to the Evade, with a smaller profile and snub tail which has proven to be the fastest design in the past few years.
Movistar has updated its colours for 2018 and has outfitted its TDU team with the latest Abus Aventor which was launched back in October.
Movistar had the new (as of October 2017) Aventor lids laid out for Wednesday's training ride
It appears Syncros has its own version of the short, wide with a large cutout saddle
When it comes to seating arrangements every rider has their own preference, and this is the place where mechanics are typically forced to utilize the most magic marker to make things sponsor correct.
It seems quite a few riders are big fans of short wide saddles like the Specialized Power, with riders from FDJ sporting the new Prologo Dimension seats and Mitchelton-Scott's bikes adorned with a previously unseen Syncros saddle/.
Among Dimension Data's new sponsors for 2018, the team has partnered with Italian saddle maker Astute, known for using tri-density memory foam in its perches.
Dimension Data is has ditched Fizik saddles for Astute for 2018
LottoNL-Jumbo have swapped from San Marco to Fizik saddles for 2018 and many of the riders are on the new Arione and Antares Open which feature plastic bumpers on the edges that so often get ripped and slightly updated shapes.
Last month Shimano said it be providing powermeters to Team Sky, however all the team bikes were equipped with Stages meters
In Decemeber, Shimano told us it would be supplying its power meters to six WorldTour teams; FDJ, BMC Racing, Trek-Segafredo, Mitchelton-Scott, Team Sunweb, and Team Sky.
Of those all but Team Sky and Mitchelton-Scott were sporting the Shimano meters, however, Sky is still running Stages powermeters on Shimano R9100 cranks and Mitchelton-Scott are running Dura-Ace R9000 SRM meters paired with PC8 computers — it does appear that Mitchelton-Scott are riding last year's bikes though as the Orica logo still appears on the fork.
Both Caleb Ewan and Daryl Impy were running an older Dura-Ace R9000 SRM powermeter
Spotted for the first time was the SRM Origin power meters paired with Shimano’s R9100 chainrings on the Bahrain-Merida bikes. Conversely, AG2R-La Mondiale are still running Dura-Ace R9000 chainrings with the same SRM meters.
Bahrain Merida riders are using blinged out SRM Origin power meters for 2018
House brand components
House brand components are have a strong showing in the WorldTour for 2018 with the Trek, Giant and Specialized sponsored teams running their own components, saddles and wheels.
Will Sunweb live up to their hashtag?
Mitchelton-Scott is running Syncros components and saddles with Shimano Dura-Ace Wheels.
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