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World Championships TT tech gallery: what do riders use when trade team rules relax?

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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Here's Ben Thomas' custom Lapierre in celebration of his title of French national TT champion
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Jonathan Castroviejo is sporting a custom Pinarello Bolide TT as Spanish national champion
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Specialized has supplied their sponsored national champions with custom Shiv TT bikes. Here's Polish national champion Maciej Bodnar's machine
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Here's current Luxembourg road and TT champion Bob Jungels' S-Works Shiv
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

This is Danish champion Kasper Asgreen's custom Shiv TT
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

And European individual time trial champion, Remco Evenepoel, has the EU stars adorning his Shiv
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Filippo Ganna, the Italian TT champion, is riding a custom Pinarello
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

He also has a custom Kask helmet
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Jos van Emden was also sporting a custom helmet, as the current TT champion of the Netherlands
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Victor Campanaerts has a subtle reference to his Hour Record title adorning his HJC helmet
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Dylan van Baarle was sporting some DVB custom Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Team GB have also got in on the custom game, with Alex Dowsett's Wahoo Kickr sporting the GB flag
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Talking of Dowsett, he's taken custom to the extreme with some custom moulded carbon fibre shoes
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Here's another look at those shoes – the BOA dial is located underneath on the sole
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

Dowsett was also using a new, 3D-printed Power saddle from Specialized.
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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UCI Road World Championships TT Tech Gallery

He had also taped eTap blips to the base bar for his TT setup, for ease of shifting through the technical sections on the course
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Drag2Zero carbon TT extensions complete Dowsett's cockpit
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Carbon extensions are a common sight at the top of the sport: Austrian Matthias Brandle's De Rosa is sporting Vision's offering
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

John Archibald, known for being fastidious when it comes to optimisation, uses Wattshop TT extensions – a brand owned by Huub-Wattbike teammate Dan Bigham
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Primoz Roglic's cockpit, provided by Vision, is very clean and cable-free
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Tony Martin also uses a Vision cockpit – but with a couple of hacks to increase comfort and centralise his computer
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

On first look, Ryan Mullen's TT extensions look to be from Trek, but closer inspection confirms they, too, are made by Wattshop
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Another instance of disguised product is this saddle used by Primoz Roglic. The Fizik logo does little to conceal the fact that it is actually made by Berk Composites
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Another lightweight saddle was this unbranded saddle used by Luxembourg's Bob Jungels
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Dylan van Baarle (Netherlands) was also seen using non-sponsor-specific kit, with this Princeton CarbonWorks front wheel
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Like the Zipp's Sawtooth design, the Princeton CarbonWorks wheel eschews traditional round rim profiles
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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Time trial tech gallery

Dowsett was another avoiding his trade-team obligations, in favour of this Team GB helmet, in a bid to be as aero as possible
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Also getting aero was New Zealand's Patrick Bevin, who uses these covered-back-hand aero mitts from Rule 28
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Rapha's aero mitts are less extraordinary in construction, but stand out for their EF Education First colour scheme
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Dani Martinez uses the same Rapha gloves with the Colombian flag theme
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

His Rapha overshoes – worn solely to smooth the airflow over his shoes – feature the same Colombian theme
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Stefan Kung's aero overshoes from Assos are split, smooth rain-deflecting lowers are paired with an upper made from the same material as his skinsuit
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Syrian rider Ahmad Badreddin Wais was sporting some rather garish overshoes from Giordana
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Others opted for short Velotoze shoe covers paired with aero socks
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

But the UCI were on hand to ensure those socks were the correct length
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Germany's Nils Politt was on-brand with his choice of kit, wearing Sidi branded aero overshoes
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

In a bid to save every last watt, Politt taped his transponder in place to aid smooth airflow
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Roglic took his hack one step further, however, with a prefabricated rubber sleeve to hold his timing transponder in place
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

On the subject of hacks... When bar tape isn't considered grippy enough, Denmark's Kasper Asgreen opts for grip tape
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Whereas Victor Campanaerts (Belgium) uses Liquid White Gold – aka liquid chalk
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Poland's Maciej Bodnar adds grip to his saddle with some simple duct tape
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Germany's Tony Martin solves the same problem with some specially-made German-themed cloth covered with a motivational message
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

Ever wondered what data Tony Martin cares about during a TT effort? Here's your answer
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)
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time trial tech gallery

And here's the data that helped Rohan Dennis power to victory and retain his title
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)


Custom

One of the prominent themes found at the UCI Road World Championships elite men's individual time trial was the propensity for customisation of bikes and kit. 

It is a tool used primarily by brands for the celebration of success, and going custom is almost an inevitability following national, European or Olympic success, and you can bet your bottom dollar that any rider leaving Yorkshire with a rainbow jersey will have their bike and kit given the rainbow treatment. 

In celebration of Benjamin Thomas' French national time trial success, his Lapierre Aerostorm was resplendent in the iconic red, white and blue. Specialized had a number of national champions across Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe, and gave each rider's Shiv TT a similarly themed national touch – with Remco Evenepoel's receiving a European theme to celebrate his European title in the discipline.

Commonly, riders will go to the effort themselves. the Netherlands' Dylan van Baarle, for example, was sporting a pair of custom painted Oakley Jawbreakers – complete with DVB initials. 

When the rules relax

As reported by Cyclingnews, Rohan Dennis stormed to victory aboard a BMC Timemachine TT, opting against using his team-issue Merida Time Warp TT bike. Following the fall-out with his team during this year's Tour de France, the entirely permissible decision by Dennis and Cycling Australia still made headlines, yet he was far from the only rider on Wednesday's start list to break the moral code. 

Great Britain's Alex Dowsett, while riding aboard a team-issue Canyon Speedmax, forewent the Oakley helmet and Sidi shoes that his Katusha-Alpecin bosses would have liked.

Van Baarle was another, opting to use a front wheel from Princeton CarbonWorks, rather than the Shimano or Lightweight options provided by Team Ineos

Marginal gains

When it comes to time trialling, watts/CdA is the all-important number: a higher average power in relation to a rider's CdA (or drag coefficient x area), will ultimately result in a faster average speed. Therefore, it's no surprise that aerodynamics is at the forefront of consideration for riders and national federations alike.

For some, that means smoothing airflow with aero overshoes; for others, it's about removing drag with custom-moulded TT extensions. For Germany's Nils Politt, however, it meant quite literally taping over the cracks in a bid to remove the disturbed airflow caused by his race transponder. 

Remco Evenepoel and Victor Campanaerts took their quest a step further, however. Both were seen using Red Bull as a carbohydrate mouth rinse ahead of the start in Northallerton. The theory behind this suggests receptors in the mouth fool the body into expecting more carbohydrates, which in turn pushes the body to utilise more of its stores than it otherwise would. While most beneficial at the point of carb-depletion or during fasted training, it certainly won't have done anything to harm the performances of the two Belgians, who finished second and 11th, respectively.