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Race tech: Tour Down Under kicks off the pro equipment season for 2013

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BMC once again packed the aero TimeMachine TMR01 road bikes but not many of the riders are using them.

BMC once again packed the aero TimeMachine TMR01 road bikes but not many of the riders are using them. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Avanti is a popular brand in Australia and a fitting steed for this UNI SA rider.

Avanti is a popular brand in Australia and a fitting steed for this UNI SA rider. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST linear-pull brakes have a blended shape that is molded directly with the frame itself. The stainless steel cable noodle is dressed up with a bit of heat-shrink tubing to match the rest of the bike.

Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST linear-pull brakes have a blended shape that is molded directly with the frame itself. The stainless steel cable noodle is dressed up with a bit of heat-shrink tubing to match the rest of the bike. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Andre Greipel's (Lotto-Belisol) usual paint scheme. The 'gorilla' certainly roared on Sunday at the People's Choice criterium in downtown Adelaide.

Andre Greipel's (Lotto-Belisol) usual paint scheme. The 'gorilla' certainly roared on Sunday at the People's Choice criterium in downtown Adelaide. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A pair of zip-ties and some tape secure the number plate on to Andre Greipel's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley Noah FAST.

A pair of zip-ties and some tape secure the number plate on to Andre Greipel's (Lotto-Belisol) Ridley Noah FAST. (Image credit: James Huang)
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As there are no barrel adjusters on the integrated linear-pull brakes of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST, mechanics install inline adjusters instead.

As there are no barrel adjusters on the integrated linear-pull brakes of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST, mechanics install inline adjusters instead. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Custom number plate holders are bolted right to the back of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley integrated seatmast heads.

Custom number plate holders are bolted right to the back of Lotto-Belisol's Ridley integrated seatmast heads. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Several Lotto-Belisol bikes had these unmarked Rotor 3D cranksets installed.

Several Lotto-Belisol bikes had these unmarked Rotor 3D cranksets installed. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Movistar's Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think2 at the Tour Down Under.

Movistar's Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think2 at the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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While the Sky team brought older Pinarello Dogma 2 models, Movistar is using the newer Dogma 65.1 Think2 model here at the Tour Down Under.

While the Sky team brought older Pinarello Dogma 2 models, Movistar is using the newer Dogma 65.1 Think2 model here at the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ridley builds a number of aerodynamic features into Lotto-Belisol's Noah FAST model, including these uniquely split fork legs.

Ridley builds a number of aerodynamic features into Lotto-Belisol's Noah FAST model, including these uniquely split fork legs. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST at the start of stage 1 of the 2013 Tour Down Under.

Lotto-Belisol's Ridley Noah FAST at the start of stage 1 of the 2013 Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Other Garmin-Cervélo team riders, though, have 3T's sleeker Integra stem on hand with its integrated Garmin computer mount.

Other Garmin-Cervélo team riders, though, have 3T's sleeker Integra stem on hand with its integrated Garmin computer mount. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervélo frames are ported for both mechanical and electronic routing - just punch the holes in the decal that you need.

Garmin-Cervélo frames are ported for both mechanical and electronic routing - just punch the holes in the decal that you need. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This story is getting old: Garmin pedals but no Garmin power meters on the Garmin-Cervélo team bikes.

This story is getting old: Garmin pedals but no Garmin power meters on the Garmin-Cervélo team bikes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Rotor made this incredibly long (165mm!) custom stem for Astana's Andrey Kashechkin a few years ago and these days it's certainly looking a little worse for wear. The surface is starting to corrode and the original faceplate has been replaced by a two-bolt unit from another company with the original threads drilled and retapped to fit.

Rotor made this incredibly long (165mm!) custom stem for Astana's Andrey Kashechkin a few years ago and these days it's certainly looking a little worse for wear. The surface is starting to corrode and the original faceplate has been replaced by a two-bolt unit from another company with the original threads drilled and retapped to fit. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Lotto-Belisol sprinter Adam Hansen is running unusually narrow 38cm bars on his Ridley Helium. Wind tunnel testing suggests that narrower bars are faster - and it might be easier for Hansen to fit into gaps with the narrower profile - but we can't help but wonder about the effects on handling.

Lotto-Belisol sprinter Adam Hansen is running unusually narrow 38cm bars on his Ridley Helium. Wind tunnel testing suggests that narrower bars are faster - and it might be easier for Hansen to fit into gaps with the narrower profile - but we can't help but wonder about the effects on handling. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Check out the difference in handlebar width between the bikes of Lotto-Belisol riders Adam Hansen (left) and Tim Wellens. Note that Wellens is both shorter and lighter than Hansen.

Check out the difference in handlebar width between the bikes of Lotto-Belisol riders Adam Hansen (left) and Tim Wellens. Note that Wellens is both shorter and lighter than Hansen. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Despite the heat of Sunday's People's Choice criterium, Lotto-Belisol riders sported Lazer's new chrome AeroShell helmet covers for a little extra speed. If nothing else, they made the riders hard to miss.

Despite the heat of Sunday's People's Choice criterium, Lotto-Belisol riders sported Lazer's new chrome AeroShell helmet covers for a little extra speed. If nothing else, they made the riders hard to miss. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cloth numbers are used at the Tour Down Under.

Cloth numbers are used at the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 and Venge bikes hide in the shade before the start of stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 and Venge bikes hide in the shade before the start of stage 1 of the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Custom blue and yellow SRM PowerControl 7 computer heads for the Saxo-Tinkoff team.

Custom blue and yellow SRM PowerControl 7 computer heads for the Saxo-Tinkoff team. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Veloflex Carbon tubulars mounted to Zipp carbon wheels for the Saxo-Tinkoff team.

Veloflex Carbon tubulars mounted to Zipp carbon wheels for the Saxo-Tinkoff team. (Image credit: James Huang)
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New Specialized carbon fiber crankarms for the Saxo-Tinkoff team.

New Specialized carbon fiber crankarms for the Saxo-Tinkoff team. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Most teams relied on rental vehicles for the Tour Down Under but Sky made sure their regular vehicles were on hand.

Most teams relied on rental vehicles for the Tour Down Under but Sky made sure their regular vehicles were on hand. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The UNI SA team brought a hodgepodge array of machines to the Tour Down Under, including this Scott Foil with covered decals.

The UNI SA team brought a hodgepodge array of machines to the Tour Down Under, including this Scott Foil with covered decals. (Image credit: James Huang)
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UNI SA had no fewer than five brands on hand at Tour Down Under.

UNI SA had no fewer than five brands on hand at Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Wheel brands varied widely on the UNI SA team, too. We counted at least five.

Wheel brands varied widely on the UNI SA team, too. We counted at least five. (Image credit: James Huang)
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It's a good thing the UNI SA team at least wore the same kits because nearly all of the bikes were different.

It's a good thing the UNI SA team at least wore the same kits because nearly all of the bikes were different. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Saxo-Tinkoff's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 machines lined up before heading out for a training ride.

Saxo-Tinkoff's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 machines lined up before heading out for a training ride. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Prologo's new CPC saddle surface features hundreds of tiny rubber 'hairs' that keep a firm hold on your shorts.

Prologo's new CPC saddle surface features hundreds of tiny rubber 'hairs' that keep a firm hold on your shorts. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Specialized tubular tires are mounted to the Zipp carbon wheels of Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

Specialized tubular tires are mounted to the Zipp carbon wheels of Omega Pharma-QuickStep. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-QuickStep's new Specialized carbon fiber crankarms boast a more bulbous shape than in years past.

Omega Pharma-QuickStep's new Specialized carbon fiber crankarms boast a more bulbous shape than in years past. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Scott Foil of 2012 Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge).

The Scott Foil of 2012 Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge). (Image credit: James Huang)
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Most of the Orica-Greenedge Scott Foils have internal batteries but the bike of Simon Gerrans has a conventionally mounted pack.

Most of the Orica-Greenedge Scott Foils have internal batteries but the bike of Simon Gerrans has a conventionally mounted pack. (Image credit: James Huang)
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CycleOps Powertap power meters for the Vacansoleil-DCM team.

CycleOps Powertap power meters for the Vacansoleil-DCM team. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) gets a unique paint job compared to the rest of the team.

Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) gets a unique paint job compared to the rest of the team. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Most of the RadioShack Leopard team is using Shimano's direct-mount Dura-Ace brakes but George Bennett instead gets Bontrager calipers.

Most of the RadioShack Leopard team is using Shimano's direct-mount Dura-Ace brakes but George Bennett instead gets Bontrager calipers. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Saxo-Tinkoff rider Christopher Juul Jensen is using Prologo's new Nago Evo CPC saddle with carbon fiber rails.

Saxo-Tinkoff rider Christopher Juul Jensen is using Prologo's new Nago Evo CPC saddle with carbon fiber rails. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Not surprisingly, some Garmin-Cervélo bikes have Garmin's new OutFront mount installed.

Not surprisingly, some Garmin-Cervélo bikes have Garmin's new OutFront mount installed. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervélo is like other teams that don't yet have sufficient stock of 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 to justify switching over. However, an apparent shortage of 10-speed Dura-Ace parts has the team now using Ultegra Di2 instead for the time being.

Garmin-Cervélo is like other teams that don't yet have sufficient stock of 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 to justify switching over. However, an apparent shortage of 10-speed Dura-Ace parts has the team now using Ultegra Di2 instead for the time being. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R-La Mondiale's sleek looking Ekoi Ekcel helmet.

Ag2R-La Mondiale's sleek looking Ekoi Ekcel helmet. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Argos-Shimano is once again on Felt's fantastic F1 frameset for 2013, filled out from head to toe with Shimano and PRO componentry.

Argos-Shimano is once again on Felt's fantastic F1 frameset for 2013, filled out from head to toe with Shimano and PRO componentry. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Integrated cockpits are still rare in the pro peloton but they do pop up from time to time.

Integrated cockpits are still rare in the pro peloton but they do pop up from time to time. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Argos-Shimano is another team that has made the move to wider rims and correspondingly more voluminous tires for 2013.

Argos-Shimano is another team that has made the move to wider rims and correspondingly more voluminous tires for 2013. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Somewhat ironically, Argos-Shimano sprinter Marcel Kittel is using PRO's Mark Cavendish signature-edition stem.

Somewhat ironically, Argos-Shimano sprinter Marcel Kittel is using PRO's Mark Cavendish signature-edition stem. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Conditions are hot in Adelaide during the Tour Down Under and Argos-Shimano is prepared with ultra-meshy kits from Pearl Izumi.

Conditions are hot in Adelaide during the Tour Down Under and Argos-Shimano is prepared with ultra-meshy kits from Pearl Izumi. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Astana's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4.

Astana's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4. (Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM teams have pared down from six last year to three in 2013, including Astana who is now on Campagnolo. European road sponsorship manager Jason Phillips says SRAM wanted to go narrower and deeper with its teams this year.

SRAM teams have pared down from six last year to three in 2013, including Astana who is now on Campagnolo. European road sponsorship manager Jason Phillips says SRAM wanted to go narrower and deeper with its teams this year. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R-La Mondiale is on completely new bikes this season, switching frames from Kuota to Focus, components from SRAM to Campagnolo, wheels from Reynolds to Fulcrum, and cockpits from Deda to fi'zi:k.

Ag2R-La Mondiale is on completely new bikes this season, switching frames from Kuota to Focus, components from SRAM to Campagnolo, wheels from Reynolds to Fulcrum, and cockpits from Deda to fi'zi:k. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Hmm, what's this beneath the saddle of Ag2R-La Mondiale rider Yauheni Hutarovich? We're not sure but given the SRM power meter, we're guessing it's some sort of telemetry device.

Hmm, what's this beneath the saddle of Ag2R-La Mondiale rider Yauheni Hutarovich? We're not sure but given the SRM power meter, we're guessing it's some sort of telemetry device. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Fi'zi:k's new range of stems and handlebars are being used by Ag2R-La Mondiale this season. Fi'zi:k hasn't released details yet but we see a forged aluminum stem with a squared-off extension profile and Torx-head hardware.

Fi'zi:k's new range of stems and handlebars are being used by Ag2R-La Mondiale this season. Fi'zi:k hasn't released details yet but we see a forged aluminum stem with a squared-off extension profile and Torx-head hardware. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R-La Mondiale had a lot of work to do before the season started with all-new Fulcrum wheels and Schwalbe tubular tires.

Ag2R-La Mondiale had a lot of work to do before the season started with all-new Fulcrum wheels and Schwalbe tubular tires. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin currently dominates the GPS computer landscape in the pro peloton but the mount on this Ag2R-La Mondiale machine goes with a Bryton device.

Garmin currently dominates the GPS computer landscape in the pro peloton but the mount on this Ag2R-La Mondiale machine goes with a Bryton device. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The four-bolt faceplate on Ag2R-La Mondiale's new fi'zi:k stems wraps more than halfway around the bar. We hear fi'zi:k will offer both carbon fiber and aluminum handlebars but the team has opted for alloy here.

The four-bolt faceplate on Ag2R-La Mondiale's new fi'zi:k stems wraps more than halfway around the bar. We hear fi'zi:k will offer both carbon fiber and aluminum handlebars but the team has opted for alloy here. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The bend on Ag2R-La Mondiale's new fi'zi:k Cyrano R3 handlebar.

The bend on Ag2R-La Mondiale's new fi'zi:k Cyrano R3 handlebar. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco frames feature a Shimano Di2 battery mount on the underside of the chain stay but it goes unused in this case since the team is using Campagnolo.

Ag2R-La Mondiale's Focus Izalco frames feature a Shimano Di2 battery mount on the underside of the chain stay but it goes unused in this case since the team is using Campagnolo. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Not surprisingly, Ag2R-La Mondiale is also using fi'zi:k saddles and seatposts.

Not surprisingly, Ag2R-La Mondiale is also using fi'zi:k saddles and seatposts. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo offers its own chain catchers but Ag2R-La Mondiale is using these machined aluminum widgets instead.

Campagnolo offers its own chain catchers but Ag2R-La Mondiale is using these machined aluminum widgets instead. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Interestingly, this Astana Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 has a monstrous 12-29T cassette fitted for a training ride before the start of Stage 1.

Interestingly, this Astana Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 has a monstrous 12-29T cassette fitted for a training ride before the start of Stage 1. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Batteries once seems like alien parasites on pro bikes but we've certainly gotten used to seeing them by now.

Batteries once seems like alien parasites on pro bikes but we've certainly gotten used to seeing them by now. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Freshly lubed and ready to go for Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.

Freshly lubed and ready to go for Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi's familiar Orbea Orca Gold, fitted with the usual array of Shimano and FSA gear.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's familiar Orbea Orca Gold, fitted with the usual array of Shimano and FSA gear. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Custom carbon fiber number plate holders for Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Orcas.

Custom carbon fiber number plate holders for Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Orcas. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Euskaltel-Euskadi rider had an interesting setup for his Shimano sprint shifters.

This Euskaltel-Euskadi rider had an interesting setup for his Shimano sprint shifters. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Orca seatposts are compatible with Selle Italia's innovative Monolink system but the team has apparently opted for traditional rails.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Orbea Orca seatposts are compatible with Selle Italia's innovative Monolink system but the team has apparently opted for traditional rails. (Image credit: James Huang)
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FDJ's Lapierre Xelius machines for the Tour Down Under.

FDJ's Lapierre Xelius machines for the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervélo brought a mix of Cervélo S5 and R5 machines to Tour Down Under.

Garmin-Cervélo brought a mix of Cervélo S5 and R5 machines to Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new paint job has gone a long way toward alleviating the visual awkwardness of Garmin-Cervélo's S5 VWD.

The new paint job has gone a long way toward alleviating the visual awkwardness of Garmin-Cervélo's S5 VWD. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Time for some new bar tape!

Time for some new bar tape! (Image credit: James Huang)
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Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under included a grueling ascent of the 'Corkscrew' and it looked like some riders were preparing for the occasion with bigger cassettes.

Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under included a grueling ascent of the 'Corkscrew' and it looked like some riders were preparing for the occasion with bigger cassettes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Teams are generally using rented vehicles for Tour Down Under, meaning the giant team buses - and their on-board bathrooms - have given way to minivans and porta-potties.

Teams are generally using rented vehicles for Tour Down Under, meaning the giant team buses - and their on-board bathrooms - have given way to minivans and porta-potties. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Helmets are washed after training rides and race stages, then hung back on a rider's bike before the next day's outing.

Helmets are washed after training rides and race stages, then hung back on a rider's bike before the next day's outing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC has gone to extreme measures to boost the aerodynamic performance of its sleek TimeMachine TMR01, hiding the brakes completely within the frame structure in order to smooth airflow.

BMC has gone to extreme measures to boost the aerodynamic performance of its sleek TimeMachine TMR01, hiding the brakes completely within the frame structure in order to smooth airflow. (Image credit: James Huang)
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We spotted Campagnolo's new EPS chain guard on several team bikes at the start of the Tour Down Under.

We spotted Campagnolo's new EPS chain guard on several team bikes at the start of the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo's new EPS chain guard is made of machined aluminum.

Campagnolo's new EPS chain guard is made of machined aluminum. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Factory team Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod rigs stand at the ready before the start of the 2013 Tour Down Under.

Factory team Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod rigs stand at the ready before the start of the 2013 Tour Down Under. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Even top pro riders use clinchers for training. Cannondale also had some spare bikes for Stage 1 fitted with clinchers from new sponsor Vision, too.

Even top pro riders use clinchers for training. Cannondale also had some spare bikes for Stage 1 fitted with clinchers from new sponsor Vision, too. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R-La Mondiale is on completely new bikes this season, switching frames from Kuota to Focus, components from SRAM to Campagnolo, wheels from Reynolds to Fulcrum, and cockpits from Deda to fi'zi:k.

Ag2R-La Mondiale is on completely new bikes this season, switching frames from Kuota to Focus, components from SRAM to Campagnolo, wheels from Reynolds to Fulcrum, and cockpits from Deda to fi'zi:k. (Image credit: James Huang)

The Tour Down Under traditionally provides some of the first looks at the gear riders will be using this season. Logistics – not to mention supplier shortages as inventories ramp up – often have many teams bringing older gear to cut costs but there's still plenty of eye candy on hand. Sit back and enjoy our gallery from Adelaide in South Australia.

And don't worry if you think we've missed some teams – we'll have more in-depth features to share in the coming days.

This story originally appeared on BikeRadar.com.