Nic Dlamini had a disappointing finish to his debut Tour de France. Although he made history becoming the first black South African to start the three-week-long race through France, he was forced out of the race on Stage 9.
On the approach to the Alps town of Tignes, Dlamini crashed and was forced to chase for the rest of the stage. Despite missing the time cut by 40 minutes, he soldiered on to the finish line regardless but had to withdraw from the rest of the race.
However, the cycling calendar is fleeting, and the world's attention is already on the next race: the Tokyo Olympics. Dlamini will toe the start line of the road race Saturday with a Teammachine SLR01 that features a custom South African livery.
Bike manufacturers love a chance to create custom-painted equipment for their sponsored athletes, and the Olympic Games presents a huge opportunity to breakout one-off designs. Since riders race for their home country in the Olympics, rather than their trade teams, the custom designs often feature national colours and flags.
That's the case with Dlamini's bike, which features the colour and design of the South African flag painted on the BMC's top tube.
"It is only fitting that for all of those that are BMC sponsored athletes we have produced their relevant models with splashes of their nation's colours across the top tube," BMC said about the custom bikes they made for their road, mountain bike, and triathlete Olympians.
The bike features a Shimano Dura-Ace 9170 groupset to make fast work of the hilly road race route in Tokyo. The Rotor crankset uses 53/39 chainrings and 172.5 cranks. Out back, an 11-30T cassette is paired with a CeramicSpeed derailleur, and jumping up and down that gear block is a golden chain from KMC.
Dlamini is clearly using most of the same components found on his team Qhubeka-NextHash standard race bikes. Hunt carbon wheels are paired with Goodyear tubular tyres, and the South African will be perched atop a Selle Italia saddle.
Dlamini recognises that he serves as a positive role model for kids back in the Capricorn Park township outside Cape Town.
“It started changing things,” he told AFP about making the team for Tokyo. “Teenagers wanting to turn their lives around. It gave them hope that anything is possible. And when they announced the Tour it was even stronger.”
When Dlamini throws his leg over his Teammachine in Tokyo, South Africa - and the world - will be watching.
Tech Specs: Nic Dlamini's BMC Teammachine
|Frame||BMC Teammachine SLR01|
|Groupset||Shimano Dura-Ace 9170, 53x39 11-30 172.5 Cranks|
|Chain||KMC X11 SL Gold|
|Derailleur Cage||CeramicSpeed OSPW|
|Brakes||Shimano Dura-Ace 9170|
|Wheelset||Hunt 55 Tubular Team Issue|
|Stem||BMC ICS Carbon|
|Handlebars||BMC ICS Carbon|
|Power Meter||Rotor Aldhu|
|Saddle||Selle Italia Boost Pro Team Kit Carbonio Superflow|
|Tyres||Goodyear tubular team issue|
|Bottle Cages||BMC Integrated|
Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California and quickly learned how fun road cycling can be. He has dabbled in road, criterium and cyclocross racing as well. He lives in Durango, Colorado, where there are endless mountain views and hilly gravel routes.
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