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Teams prepare for launch in London

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The Slice frame configuration

The Slice frame configuration (Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Barloworld makes its Tour de France debut

Team Barloworld makes its Tour de France debut (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cables exit through a large port

Cables exit through a large port (Image credit: James Huang)
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Whose bike is this again?

Whose bike is this again? (Image credit: James Huang)
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Stronglight rings are bolted

Stronglight rings are bolted (Image credit: James Huang)
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Millar's special CR1 Plasma TT sports unique paint

Millar's special CR1 Plasma TT sports unique paint (Image credit: James Huang)
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An ominous dragon

An ominous dragon (Image credit: James Huang)
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UK prologue hopeful Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis)

UK prologue hopeful Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) (Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Barloworld makes its Tour de France debut on the new Cannondale Slice.

Team Barloworld makes its Tour de France debut on the new Cannondale Slice. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The 'Speed Shadow' now follows the arc of the rear wheel all the way from the bottom bracket shell up to the seat stays.

The 'Speed Shadow' now follows the arc of the rear wheel all the way from the bottom bracket shell up to the seat stays. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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As with many dedicated time trial machines, the Slice is barely visible from the front.

As with many dedicated time trial machines, the Slice is barely visible from the front. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Carbon fiber allows for a much more aerodynamically profiled head tube area.

Carbon fiber allows for a much more aerodynamically profiled head tube area. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cables are now fully internally routed.

Cables are now fully internally routed. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cannondale's BB30 oversized bottom bracket shell houses its integrated crankset.

Cannondale's BB30 oversized bottom bracket shell houses its integrated crankset. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Lots of carbon fiber here, as always.

Lots of carbon fiber here, as always. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cables exit through a large port down by the bottom bracket shell.

Cables exit through a large port down by the bottom bracket shell. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Mavic's Comete carbon fiber rear disc is a common sight at TT time.

Mavic's Comete carbon fiber rear disc is a common sight at TT time. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Barloworld will use Mavic's versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate for the opening prologue.

Barloworld will use Mavic's versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate for the opening prologue. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Cannondale's Si crankset is among the lightest available.

Cannondale's Si crankset is among the lightest available. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Slice frame configuration requires a separate mounting bracket for the rear brake caliper.

The Slice frame configuration requires a separate mounting bracket for the rear brake caliper. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A new aerodynamic carbon fiber post can be set up in two positions.

A new aerodynamic carbon fiber post can be set up in two positions. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Vision integrated aero bars are another common site on ProTour time trial machines.

Vision integrated aero bars are another common site on ProTour time trial machines. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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David Millar will fly through the streets of London on a custom-painted Scott CR1 Plasma TT.

David Millar will fly through the streets of London on a custom-painted Scott CR1 Plasma TT. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Millar's machine will be hard to miss.

Millar's machine will be hard to miss. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Whose bike is this again?

Whose bike is this again? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The tartan pattern pays homage to Millar's Scottish background.

The tartan pattern pays homage to Millar's Scottish background. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Extra bits on Millar's TT bar extensions help him maintain a stable hand position.

Extra bits on Millar's TT bar extensions help him maintain a stable hand position. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Millar's Ritchey time trial bar is set up and ready to go.

Millar's Ritchey time trial bar is set up and ready to go. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Mavic supplied Millar with a special lighter-weight edition of its five-spoke Io carbon fiber front wheel.

Mavic supplied Millar with a special lighter-weight edition of its five-spoke Io carbon fiber front wheel. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Millar's special CR1 Plasma TT sports unique paint but the frame boasts the same slippery lines.

Millar's special CR1 Plasma TT sports unique paint but the frame boasts the same slippery lines. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Stronglight rings are bolted on to a SRAM Force crankset.

Stronglight rings are bolted on to a SRAM Force crankset. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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SRAM fitted Millar's shifters with gold-anodized caps.

SRAM fitted Millar's shifters with gold-anodized caps. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Millar is taking no chances in this year's prologue with two chainrings, a front derailleur, and an inner chain guard.

Millar is taking no chances in this year's prologue with two chainrings, a front derailleur, and an inner chain guard. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Millar warms up on a similarly finished Scott Addict.

Millar warms up on a similarly finished Scott Addict. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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An ominous dragon lives on Millar's head tube.

An ominous dragon lives on Millar's head tube. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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UK prologue hopeful Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) will head out on a Time RXR, shown here in cool-down mode after a training ride.

UK prologue hopeful Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) will head out on a Time RXR, shown here in cool-down mode after a training ride. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Wiggins will utilize a Fulcrum carbon rear disc wheel when he heads out for the prologue.

Wiggins will utilize a Fulcrum carbon rear disc wheel when he heads out for the prologue. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Wiggins cools down after a training ride.

Wiggins cools down after a training ride. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)

Race Tech: Tour de France, July 7, 2007

Brilliant sunshine awaited the Tour de France teams as they made their final preparations on the morning of the opening prologue. As one of only two Professional Continental teams on this year's start list, Team Barloworld is especially excited to be included here, particularly since events are kicking off right here in its home base of London. Team riders, including first-year UK pro Geraint Thomas, will leave the start house this afternoon on brand-new Cannondale Slice time trial machines which were tested in competition for the first time by the Liquigas squad at this year's Giro d'Italia.

The new full-carbon frames are a stark contrast to last year's Six13 Slice which used carbon fiber for only the top tube and down tube. The new Slice boasts nary a single round tube with substantially more aerodynamic cross-sections throughout and more organic styling.

The 'Speed Shadow' cutout on the back of the seat tube now extends all the way from the bottom bracket shell to the seat stays, and cables are routed internally for a cleaner exterior. Naturally, Cannondale continues to utilize its oversized 'BB30' bottom bracket shell format (Specialized's FACT integrated crankset shell reportedly shares identical dimensions) to house its Si integrated crankset. Complete team bikes were right around 8.1kg. Other UK hopefuls include Bradley Wiggins of Cofidis and David Millar of Saunier Duval-Prodir.

Wiggins has proven himself in short tests against the clock again and again this year. He began the year by becoming the World Champion in pursuit, then went on to won the prologues at this year's Tour of Dunkirk and Dauphiné Libéré; Millar is a perennial TdF prologue threat and won in 2000. After taking last season to ease back into things after a two-year doping suspension, Millar in particular has marked this year's prologue as a prime objective in his career. As is now TdF tradition, Millar will launch out of the start house on a specially finished (and equipped) version of his Scott CR1 Plasma TT.

In addition to the gleaming white paint job, Millar will be riding a lighter-weight version of Mavic's Io five-spoke carbon wheel (his Comete rear disc is reputed to be lighter as well). Mavic officials were not able to comment on the exact changes incorporated into Millar's hoops, but the most notable visual difference up front was a broader pattern on the woven carbon fiber top sheet.

Millar is clearly leaving little chance for the repeat of the 2003 prologue where a dropped chain surely cost him a win (missing by just 0.08 seconds), as well as a yellow jersey. This year's prologue machine is equipped with two chainrings, a proper front derailleur, and a custom-built inner guard.

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