Much had quite rightly been made of Victor Campenaerts' choice of bike for the Belgian's attempt to beat Bradley Wiggins' Hour Record at the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico on Tuesday, but bike manufacturer Ridley have also provided details about some of the other equipment that the 27-year-old used to ride 55.089km and successfully break the four-year-old record.
Ridley provided Campenaerts' carbon-framed Arena track bike, which was based on the Lotto Soudal rider's own Dean Fast time trial bike for the road, with custom-moulded handlebar extensions and arm rests, and a Campagnolo drivetrain and carbon Campagnolo Ghibli disc wheels with Vittoria tubular tyres. You can read more about the bike that carried the European time trial champion to the new Hour Record here.
But Ridley also provided further information on their website about Campenaerts' clothing, helmet and shoes – and about his lack of a helmet visor or glasses, and gloves.
Campenaerts used an HJC Adwatt aero helmet in a custom size to perfectly fit his head dimensions.
"It's the fastest helmet I've ever tested," said Campenaerts, "and it's very specific to me."
While most might have expected the helmet to have been worn with a visor, Campenaerts explained that wind-tunnel testing has revealed that he's actually faster without anything across his face – but that it wasn't the case for everyone, presumably in terms of different face and nose shapes and sizes.
"As opposed to [Lotto Soudal teammate] Tiesj Benoot, who is faster with a visor, my aero performances improve without one," Campenaerts said. "On top of that, it offers me better cooling conditions, because you lose a lot of heat through your head."
Overshoes are not allowed for Hour Record attempts, and so Campenaerts and his team sought to find an as aerodynamic solution as possible.
Shoe supplier Gaerne came up with a shoe based on their G.Stilo model, but with a lace fastening underneath a rubber cover to make them as slippery as possible
"These new shoes are actually faster than [using] shoe covers," Campenaerts revealed, having tested them in the wind tunnel along with the special Gaerne aero socks he used in the record attempt.
"The shoes are very comfortable, and I wore them during my recent Tirreno-Adriatico stage victory," Campenaerts said, referring to the individual time trial stage in which he beat recent Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Education First) and Jumbo-Visma's Jos van Emden. "So I'll keep using them in future road races."
The Vermarc-manufactured skinsuit Campenaerts wore was exactly the same design as the one he uses on the road – with the only difference being that it was a standard Lotto Soudal team design instead of the special blue and white version he normally wears as the European time trial champion – while he chose to use short, rather than long, sleeves.
"The aero difference with long sleeves is really limited," he explained. "Again, I preferred to choose optimised cooling conditions in temperatures of around 30°C, and Vermarc and I have put a lot of effort into creating the fastest suit possible."
Like Wiggins during his record attempt, Campenaerts preferred not to wear gloves.
"Aerodynamically, the advantage of gloves is minimal. But it was also a choice in favour of cooling conditions: there are veins running around the outsides of your wrists, so you're able to lose heat very well there," he said.
"It gives me great satisfaction to see the months of preparation being rewarded," Campenaerts said, having beaten Wiggins' 2015 record, set in London, by 563 metres.
"Today, everything fell into place. The entire Lotto Soudal team supported me in this mission, which of course created the necessary pressure. But that motivated me even more to make it something special."
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