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Race tech: Marcel Kittel's Giant Propel Advanced and more

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Marcel Kittel's (Giant-Shimano) Giant Propel Advanced - about five hours before winning Scheldeprijs in a sprint finish

Marcel Kittel's (Giant-Shimano) Giant Propel Advanced - about five hours before winning Scheldeprijs in a sprint finish
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Several FDJ.fr used Lapierre's new Pulsium endurance bike at Scheldeprijs - likely as a final shakeout test before Paris-Roubaix on Sunday

Several FDJ.fr used Lapierre's new Pulsium endurance bike at Scheldeprijs - likely as a final shakeout test before Paris-Roubaix on Sunday
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol rider Marcel Sieberg went with a Ridley X-Night 'cross bike at Scheldeprijs - perhaps as a last shakeout test before Paris-Roubaix

Lotto-Belisol rider Marcel Sieberg went with a Ridley X-Night 'cross bike at Scheldeprijs - perhaps as a last shakeout test before Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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TRP CX8.4 direct-pull brakes for Marcel Sieberg's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley X-Night at Scheldeprijs

TRP CX8.4 direct-pull brakes for Marcel Sieberg's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley X-Night at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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25mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited ALX tubulars for the Lotto-Belisol team at Scheldeprijs

25mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited ALX tubulars for the Lotto-Belisol team at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Two layers of Lizard Skins DSP tape make for quite the handful on Marcel Sieberg's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley X-Night at Scheldeprijs

Two layers of Lizard Skins DSP tape make for quite the handful on Marcel Sieberg's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley X-Night at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol team mechanics use additional clamps on the seatposts as a bit of extra insurance against slippage at Scheldeprijs. Note how they also made good use of the vestigial rear brake housing stop

Lotto-Belisol team mechanics use additional clamps on the seatposts as a bit of extra insurance against slippage at Scheldeprijs. Note how they also made good use of the vestigial rear brake housing stop
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Other Lotto-Belisol riders had their race numbers attached to the back of the seatmast head

Other Lotto-Belisol riders had their race numbers attached to the back of the seatmast head
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Friction can be a major problem on direct-mount brakes such as used on Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST. Team mechanics have applied short sections of heat shrink tubing and o-rings in an effort to keep out the crud

Friction can be a major problem on direct-mount brakes such as used on Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST. Team mechanics have applied short sections of heat shrink tubing and o-rings in an effort to keep out the crud
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Neri Sottoli's ultra-bright MCipollini machines just before the start of Scheldeprijs

Neri Sottoli's ultra-bright MCipollini machines just before the start of Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ursus carbon tubular wheels and Schwalbe tires for the Neri Sottoli team

Ursus carbon tubular wheels and Schwalbe tires for the Neri Sottoli team
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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MCipollini's latest Bond frames feature BB386EVO bottom bracket shells

MCipollini's latest Bond frames feature BB386EVO bottom bracket shells
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Matching bright neon Time Xpresso pedals for the Neri Sottoli team

Matching bright neon Time Xpresso pedals for the Neri Sottoli team
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A mix of Scott Foils and Addicts for the IAM Cycling squad at Scheldeprijs

A mix of Scott Foils and Addicts for the IAM Cycling squad at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lotto-Belisol is using internally mounted Campagnolo EPS batteries. Note the charging port just beneath the bottle cage on the seat tube

Lotto-Belisol is using internally mounted Campagnolo EPS batteries. Note the charging port just beneath the bottle cage on the seat tube
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The roughened strips on the sides of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST head tubes and seat tubes supposedly help passing air 'stick' to the frame

The roughened strips on the sides of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST head tubes and seat tubes supposedly help passing air 'stick' to the frame
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lapierre says the Pulsium's elastomer insert damps more vibration and allows for more top tube-seat tube flex than the compay's previous endurance bike

Lapierre says the Pulsium's elastomer insert damps more vibration and allows for more top tube-seat tube flex than the compay's previous endurance bike
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Some FDJ.fr riders have also started pairing current-generation Xelius frames with the direct-mount forks of the upcoming Aircode aero road model

Some FDJ.fr riders have also started pairing current-generation Xelius frames with the direct-mount forks of the upcoming Aircode aero road model
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lapierre's new Aircode fork features direct-mount brakes. FDJ.fr has spliced those on to existing Xelius frames here

Lapierre's new Aircode fork features direct-mount brakes. FDJ.fr has spliced those on to existing Xelius frames here
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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25mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars for the FDJ.fr team at Scheldeprijs

25mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars for the FDJ.fr team at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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FDJ.fr is using SRM power meters

FDJ.fr is using SRM power meters
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sometimes pro riders are looking for just a few millimeters of additional bar drop and bearing durability is a small price to pay to get it

Sometimes pro riders are looking for just a few millimeters of additional bar drop and bearing durability is a small price to pay to get it
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Lapierre has built the Pulsium fork with a generous 50mm of rake and a tighter curve up top in an effort to boost rider comfort

Lapierre has built the Pulsium fork with a generous 50mm of rake and a tighter curve up top in an effort to boost rider comfort
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Long-reach brake calipers on FDJ.fr's new Lapierre Pulsium endurance bikes allow for Paris-Roubaix-friendly tire sizes

Long-reach brake calipers on FDJ.fr's new Lapierre Pulsium endurance bikes allow for Paris-Roubaix-friendly tire sizes
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Aluminum Elite Ciussi bottle cags for the FDJ.fr team

Aluminum Elite Ciussi bottle cags for the FDJ.fr team
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Most of the Lotto-Belisol riders, such as Kenny Dehaes, were on the aero Ridley Noah FAST at Scheldeprijs

Most of the Lotto-Belisol riders, such as Kenny Dehaes, were on the aero Ridley Noah FAST at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ridley claims the split seat stays and fork blades on the Noah FAST pull air away from the wheels to reduce aerodynamic drag

Ridley claims the split seat stays and fork blades on the Noah FAST pull air away from the wheels to reduce aerodynamic drag
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Campagnolo Bora Ultra Two deep-section carbon tubulars for the Lotto-Belisol squad at Scheldeprijs

Campagnolo Bora Ultra Two deep-section carbon tubulars for the Lotto-Belisol squad at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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IAM Cycling's Prologo saddles feature grippy CPC covers

IAM Cycling's Prologo saddles feature grippy CPC covers
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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IAM Cycling riders were on a mix of DT Swiss Spline carbon tubular wheels at Scheldeprijs

IAM Cycling riders were on a mix of DT Swiss Spline carbon tubular wheels at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Schwalbe One HT tubulars for David Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at Scheldeprijs

Schwalbe One HT tubulars for David Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale) at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale) sits on fi'zi:k's discontinued - but ultralight - Arione k:1 saddle

Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale) sits on fi'zi:k's discontinued - but ultralight - Arione k:1 saddle
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A full fi'zi:k cockpit - including handlebar tape - for Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale)

A full fi'zi:k cockpit - including handlebar tape - for Davide Appollonio (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rather stout looking replaceable rear derailleur hanger on Ag2r-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco Max

The rather stout looking replaceable rear derailleur hanger on Ag2r-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco Max
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Ag2r-La Mondiale team mechanics use sections of plastic wire wrap to tidy up the front ends

Ag2r-La Mondiale team mechanics use sections of plastic wire wrap to tidy up the front ends
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While most of the Cannondale team went with the smoother-riding Synapse Hi-Mod, Elia Viviani went opted for the SuperSix EVO

While most of the Cannondale team went with the smoother-riding Synapse Hi-Mod, Elia Viviani went opted for the SuperSix EVO
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Peter Sagan's (Cannondale) custom-geometry Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod just before the start of Scheldeprijs

Peter Sagan's (Cannondale) custom-geometry Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod just before the start of Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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MTN-Qhubeka's Treks are hard to miss

MTN-Qhubeka's Treks are hard to miss
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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MTN-Qhubeka riders paired Trek Madone frames with Trek Domane forks at Scheldeprijs

MTN-Qhubeka riders paired Trek Madone frames with Trek Domane forks at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Strips of electrical tape keep crud out of SRAM's Red DoubleTap levers when they're up atop the team cars

Strips of electrical tape keep crud out of SRAM's Red DoubleTap levers when they're up atop the team cars
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Europcar riders went with a variety of different Colnagos at Scheldeprijs

Europcar riders went with a variety of different Colnagos at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Scheldeprijs's more straightforward parcours translated into much smaller course notes for the riders than at Ronde van Vlaanderen

Scheldeprijs's more straightforward parcours translated into much smaller course notes for the riders than at Ronde van Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Slim fork blades suggest a smooth ride on Ag2r-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco Max bikes

Slim fork blades suggest a smooth ride on Ag2r-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco Max bikes
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Davide Appollonio's (Ag2r-La Mondiale) Focus Izalco Max at Scheldeprijs

Davide Appollonio's (Ag2r-La Mondiale) Focus Izalco Max at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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ISM's Adamo split-nose saddles may look unsual but more than a handful of riders have broken their sponsorship obligations in order to run them

ISM's Adamo split-nose saddles may look unsual but more than a handful of riders have broken their sponsorship obligations in order to run them
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Schwalbe's 'First Ride' prototype program supplies top teams and riders with special tire prototypes that may or may not make it into production

Schwalbe's 'First Ride' prototype program supplies top teams and riders with special tire prototypes that may or may not make it into production
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elite touts its Cannibal cage as being useful on compact frames given its side-access entry but apparently it holds bottles pretty well, too

Elite touts its Cannibal cage as being useful on compact frames given its side-access entry but apparently it holds bottles pretty well, too
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The distinctive hub shell design on IAM Cycling's DT Swiss Spline wheels

The distinctive hub shell design on IAM Cycling's DT Swiss Spline wheels
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) switched from the BMC SLR01 model he used during Ronde van Vlaanderen to a GranFondo GF01 - likely in preparation for Sunday's run at Paris-Roubaix

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) switched from the BMC SLR01 model he used during Ronde van Vlaanderen to a GranFondo GF01 - likely in preparation for Sunday's run at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A forged aluminum 3T ARX II Team stem and carbon fiber traditional-bend 3T Rotundo Team bars for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

A forged aluminum 3T ARX II Team stem and carbon fiber traditional-bend 3T Rotundo Team bars for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The unusual kinks and angles on the BMC GF01 provide better big-bump performance than the otherwise comfy SLR01 model

The unusual kinks and angles on the BMC GF01 provide better big-bump performance than the otherwise comfy SLR01 model
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The integrated chain catcher on Greg Van Avermaet's (BMC) BMC GF01

The integrated chain catcher on Greg Van Avermaet's (BMC) BMC GF01
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Traditional-bend bars and supplemental Di2 sprint shifters on Greg Van Avermaet's (BMC) BMC GF01 at Scheldeprijs

Traditional-bend bars and supplemental Di2 sprint shifters on Greg Van Avermaet's (BMC) BMC GF01 at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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25mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited ALX tubulars for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

25mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited ALX tubulars for Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) rides a 54cm BMC GF01

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) rides a 54cm BMC GF01
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Elite Sior Mio bottle cages for the BMC squad at Scheldeprijs

Elite Sior Mio bottle cages for the BMC squad at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Androni Giocattoli riders were mostly on Bianchi Sempre Pros at Scheldeprijs

Androni Giocattoli riders were mostly on Bianchi Sempre Pros at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Four-arm FSA K-Force Light cranksets for the Androni Giocattoli riders at Scheldeprijs

Four-arm FSA K-Force Light cranksets for the Androni Giocattoli riders at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The clever clip-on Selle Italia logo makes the saddle easier to identify in race photos

The clever clip-on Selle Italia logo makes the saddle easier to identify in race photos
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha riders Vladimir Gusev and Vladimir Isaichev both went with bar top mounted brake levers at Scheldeprijs

Katusha riders Vladimir Gusev and Vladimir Isaichev both went with bar top mounted brake levers at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Custom paint for Katusha rider Luca Paolini

Custom paint for Katusha rider Luca Paolini
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) custom painted Canyon Ultimate CF SLX

Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) custom painted Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Supplemental Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 sprint shifters for Katusha captain Alexander Kristoff

Supplemental Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 sprint shifters for Katusha captain Alexander Kristoff
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Grippy handlebar tape for Katusha rider Alexander Kristoff

Grippy handlebar tape for Katusha rider Alexander Kristoff
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) Canyon VCLS seatpost flexes more than most for a cushier ride over rough roads

Alexander Kristoff's (Katusha) Canyon VCLS seatpost flexes more than most for a cushier ride over rough roads
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Yet another set of stout Elite Ciussi aluminum bottle cages, this time for Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

Yet another set of stout Elite Ciussi aluminum bottle cages, this time for Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bradley Wiggins' (Sky) Pinarello Dogma K before the start of Scheldeprijs. Wiggins has focused his training efforts for a top finish at Paris-Roubaix

Bradley Wiggins' (Sky) Pinarello Dogma K before the start of Scheldeprijs. Wiggins has focused his training efforts for a top finish at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has his bars wrapped all the way up to the stem clamp. Team mechanics say it's something he's carried over from his days on the track

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has his bars wrapped all the way up to the stem clamp. Team mechanics say it's something he's carried over from his days on the track
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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An extra-padded custom fi'zi:k Arione saddle for Bradley Wiggins (Sky)

An extra-padded custom fi'zi:k Arione saddle for Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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There's certainly no mistaking which country Bradley Wiggins (Sky) calls home

There's certainly no mistaking which country Bradley Wiggins (Sky) calls home
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Katusha riders used Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frames across the board at Scheldeprijs

Katusha riders used Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frames across the board at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The semi-integrated stem on the Cofidis Look 675 is certainly distinctive looking

The semi-integrated stem on the Cofidis Look 675 is certainly distinctive looking
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders - including Tom Boonen - were mostly on the aero Venge model at Scheldeprijs

Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders - including Tom Boonen - were mostly on the aero Venge model at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is certainly hoping for another Paris-Roubaix win on Sunday, although he'll assuredly be on a Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 and not this Venge that he used at Scheldeprijs

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is certainly hoping for another Paris-Roubaix win on Sunday, although he'll assuredly be on a Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 and not this Venge that he used at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Sharp) Cervélo S3 is safely tucked away in between two others just before the start of Scheldeprijs. The former winner would end up second on the day

Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Sharp) Cervélo S3 is safely tucked away in between two others just before the start of Scheldeprijs. The former winner would end up second on the day
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A sleek 3T Integra LTD stem with an integrated Garmin Edge mount for Garmin-Sharp sprinter Tyler Farrar

A sleek 3T Integra LTD stem with an integrated Garmin Edge mount for Garmin-Sharp sprinter Tyler Farrar
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Garmin-Sharp riders are finally using Garmin's new Vector power meter in competition. Also note the new Rotor adjustable chain catcher

Garmin-Sharp riders are finally using Garmin's new Vector power meter in competition. Also note the new Rotor adjustable chain catcher
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mavic Cosmic CXR 80 carbon tubular wheels for Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar

Mavic Cosmic CXR 80 carbon tubular wheels for Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rotor's new chain catcher uses a sliding lower section with a long, flat edge that should work better with the larger inner chainrings that will be used at Paris-Roubaix

Rotor's new chain catcher uses a sliding lower section with a long, flat edge that should work better with the larger inner chainrings that will be used at Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Garmin-Sharp team mechanics clearly take a lot of pride in how the riders' number plates are installed. Note how precisely the front of Tyler Farrar's plate is cut to follow the profile of the frame

Garmin-Sharp team mechanics clearly take a lot of pride in how the riders' number plates are installed. Note how precisely the front of Tyler Farrar's plate is cut to follow the profile of the frame
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Arundel Mandible carbon fiber cages on Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Sharp) Cervélo S3 at Scheldeprijs

Arundel Mandible carbon fiber cages on Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Sharp) Cervélo S3 at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Most of the brakes we saw before the start of Scheldeprijs had their quick-releases in the open position

Most of the brakes we saw before the start of Scheldeprijs had their quick-releases in the open position
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A generous wrap of electrical tape joins the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wire and rear brake housing together

A generous wrap of electrical tape joins the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wire and rear brake housing together
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A Cofidis team-issue Look 675 about to go for a ride atop the team car at Scheldeprijs

A Cofidis team-issue Look 675 about to go for a ride atop the team car at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Veloflex Arenberg tubular tires for Bradley Wiggins (Sky) at Scheldeprijs

Veloflex Arenberg tubular tires for Bradley Wiggins (Sky) at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Wiggo!

Wiggo!
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has now won Scheldeprijs three times in a row

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has now won Scheldeprijs three times in a row
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A stout carbon fiber PRO Vibe Sprint stem for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)

A stout carbon fiber PRO Vibe Sprint stem for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) uses a cutout PRO Turnix saddle

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) uses a cutout PRO Turnix saddle
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A relatively wide-range 11-28T Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 cassette for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) at Scheldeprijs

A relatively wide-range 11-28T Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 cassette for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek Factory Racing's fleet of Madones and Domanes just before the start of Scheldeprijs

Trek Factory Racing's fleet of Madones and Domanes just before the start of Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) rode this Wilier Triestina Cento 1 SR at Scheldeprijs

Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) rode this Wilier Triestina Cento 1 SR at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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While most riders seem to prefer having their Garmin Edge displays out in front of the bars, Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) instead has opted for K-Edge's steerer cap mount

While most riders seem to prefer having their Garmin Edge displays out in front of the bars, Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) instead has opted for K-Edge's steerer cap mount
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Custom-finished K-Edge chain catchers for the UnitedHealthcare team

Custom-finished K-Edge chain catchers for the UnitedHealthcare team
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) is riding a fi'zi:k Antares VSX saddle

Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) is riding a fi'zi:k Antares VSX saddle
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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UnitedHealthcare's Wilier Triestina Cento 1 SR frames are a variation of the paint schemes used on production bikes

UnitedHealthcare's Wilier Triestina Cento 1 SR frames are a variation of the paint schemes used on production bikes
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) runs his bars tilted slightly downward but with the levers mounted very high

Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) runs his bars tilted slightly downward but with the levers mounted very high
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Maxxis has revamped UnitedHealthcare's Campione tubular tires to be more raceworthy than before. Given that the tread actually matches with the consumer version, there's a good chance these aren't simply rebadged models from another company

Maxxis has revamped UnitedHealthcare's Campione tubular tires to be more raceworthy than before. Given that the tread actually matches with the consumer version, there's a good chance these aren't simply rebadged models from another company
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Giant-Shimano mechanics use heat shrink tubing to clean up the cable routing

Giant-Shimano mechanics use heat shrink tubing to clean up the cable routing
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) uses semi-anatomic bars and levers mounted in a traditional location

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) uses semi-anatomic bars and levers mounted in a traditional location
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Speedplay Zero Nanogram pedals for Bradley Wiggins (Sky)

Speedplay Zero Nanogram pedals for Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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White numbers on the back of the seat tube help team mechanics quickly identify bikes when they're on top of the cars

White numbers on the back of the seat tube help team mechanics quickly identify bikes when they're on top of the cars
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andrea Guardini's (Astana) Specialized S-Works Venge before the start of Scheldeprijs

Andrea Guardini's (Astana) Specialized S-Works Venge before the start of Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Corima deep-section carbon tubular wheels for the Astana squad at Scheldeprijs

Corima deep-section carbon tubular wheels for the Astana squad at Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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One of Theo Bos's (Belkin) spare Bianchi Oltre XRs before the start of Scheldeprijs

One of Theo Bos's (Belkin) spare Bianchi Oltre XRs before the start of Scheldeprijs
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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25mm-wide Vittoria Corsa SC tubulars for Theo Bos (Belkin)

25mm-wide Vittoria Corsa SC tubulars for Theo Bos (Belkin)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sprint shifters and Lizard Skins DSP tape for Belkin strongman Theo Bos

Sprint shifters and Lizard Skins DSP tape for Belkin strongman Theo Bos
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Fourier DX005 brakes feature two stops for the cable noodle so that mechanics can quickly swap between wide and narrow rims

The Fourier DX005 brakes feature two stops for the cable noodle so that mechanics can quickly swap between wide and narrow rims
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Giant-Shimano's Giant Propel Advanced's use aftermarket Fouriers machined aluminum brakes instead of the molded carbon fiber ones sold on the stock bikes

The Giant-Shimano's Giant Propel Advanced's use aftermarket Fouriers machined aluminum brakes instead of the molded carbon fiber ones sold on the stock bikes
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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25mm-wide Vittoria Corsa SC tubulars for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)

25mm-wide Vittoria Corsa SC tubulars for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Supplemental Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 sprint shifters for three-time Scheldeprijs winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)

Supplemental Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 sprint shifters for three-time Scheldeprijs winner Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano)
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Custom stainless steel number plate holders from K-Edge for the UnitedHealthcare team

Custom stainless steel number plate holders from K-Edge for the UnitedHealthcare team
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) roared to his third consecutive win at Scheldeprijs, this time aboard Giant's slippery Propel Advanced aero road machine. The big German's setup wasn't just focused on reducing drag, though.

Giant was late to the aero road bike game having launched its Propel Advanced just a little more than a year ago. That extra time has been put to good use, however, as independent tests have verified it to be among the most slippery options available with its sleek shape, compact rear triangle, level top tube, shielded rear wheel, clipped down tube tail, and integrated direct-pull brakes.

Team bikes forego the carbon fiber calipers used on standard consumer bikes, though, in favour for the new Fouriers DX005 aluminum model, which are a touch heavier but lend a firmer feel at the lever (and not long ago were available only to team riders). These calipers also add a little extra race-specific convenience. Each brake includes two stops for the cable noodle milled at different depths so that mechanics can quickly and easily swap between wheels with wider or narrower profiles, plus the more conventional clamp is gentler on brake cables than the carbon version's set screws.

Kittel's 50mm-deep Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubulars continue the aero theme but otherwise, it's standard fare with a little extra focus on harnessing the three-time winner's immense power output. Among the key highlights are a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9000 electronic group with supplemental sprint shifters on the drops, a massive PRO Vibe Sprint carbon fiber stem, an aluminum PRO semi-anatomic bar, 25mm-wide Vittoria Corsa SC tubulars, and an SRM/Dura-Ace power meter. In spite of the flat course profile, Kittel used a relative wide 11-28T cassette.

Take a closer look at Kittel's setup in the image gallery at top right, along with scores of other bikes from the team paddocks in Antwerp, Belgium.