An apparent budget disparity in the paddock
Walking through the team paddock at the UCI Road World Championships, it's easy to be distracted by the rows and rows of £10,000 bikes, with their pristine components, polished frames and brand-new tyres that have seen little more than a scoot across the car park.
But hidden between the luxury buses, crammed into car-park corners, sit the lesser-represented nations, rarely with more than a solitary vehicle to transport the entire team and staff, bikes and all. It is here you'll find the riders without that big-budget WorldTour contract – and some even without a bike sponsor.
These are the nations whose entire World Championships budget would fail to pay for the spare bikes sat atop Team GB's support car, yet it shows you really don't need the latest kit to ride at the top of the sport.
Federations such as the Netherlands, Germany and Slovenia's support vehicles were laden with spares for their star riders. A quick tally up of the retail value of these bikes sat at around £80,000 per car. Compare that with the Russian women's team - two of whom finished a race in which 63 riders didn't - whose support car sported a 13-year-old Look 585 running 10-speed Shimano Dura-Ace, worth considerably less.
On a day when every Briton's favourite topic was the early talking point, with the weather causing a shortening of the route and the forecast looking to remain bleak, the start line for the men's elite road race was awash with wet-weather gear. Overshoes, fenders, rain capes and gloves were the order of the day as riders expected a grim day in the saddle.
Scroll through the gallery above to see all the tech on display over the final two days at the UCI Road World Championships.
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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