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Gallery: Nibali and Fuglsang time trial testing with Specialized

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Vincenzo Nibali poses in front of a Specialized S-Works bike

Vincenzo Nibali poses in front of a Specialized S-Works bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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Body Geometry Fit manager Sean Madsen checks out Nibali's body shape

Body Geometry Fit manager Sean Madsen checks out Nibali's body shape (Image credit: Specialized)
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Madsen measures the position of Nibali's knee

Madsen measures the position of Nibali's knee (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali Specialized SL4 road bike

Nibali Specialized SL4 road bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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Madsen talks to Nibali about how he feels on the Shiv TT bike

Madsen talks to Nibali about how he feels on the Shiv TT bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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The Performance Program staff discuss changes to Nibali's position

The Performance Program staff discuss changes to Nibali's position (Image credit: Specialized)
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Madsen studies the changes in Nibali's position

Madsen studies the changes in Nibali's position (Image credit: Specialized)
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A close-up of Vincenzo Nibali's initial time trial position. There's room for improvement

A close-up of Vincenzo Nibali's initial time trial position. There's room for improvement (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali's bars were raised so he could try to relax his shoulders and drop his head

Nibali's bars were raised so he could try to relax his shoulders and drop his head (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali was focused on finding some improvements

Nibali was focused on finding some improvements (Image credit: Specialized)
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Fuglsang is back on a Specialized in 2013

Fuglsang is back on a Specialized in 2013 (Image credit: Specialized)
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Jakob Fuglsang warms up on the rollers

Jakob Fuglsang warms up on the rollers (Image credit: Specialized)
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Madsen talks to Nibali about how he feels on the Shiv TT bike

Madsen talks to Nibali about how he feels on the Shiv TT bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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Astana is using a combination of Campagnolo, SRM, FSA, Fizik and Corima components

Astana is using a combination of Campagnolo, SRM, FSA, Fizik and Corima components (Image credit: Specialized)
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Vincenzo Nibali signed for Astana from Luiquigas Cannondale

Vincenzo Nibali signed for Astana from Luiquigas Cannondale (Image credit: Specialized)
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Vincenzo Nibali riding in his tuck time trial position

Vincenzo Nibali riding in his tuck time trial position (Image credit: Specialized)
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The bBox telemetry measuring system

The bBox telemetry measuring system (Image credit: Specialized)
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A front view of Nibali's Shiv TT bike

A front view of Nibali's Shiv TT bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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Fuglsang gets ready to roll

Fuglsang gets ready to roll (Image credit: Specialized)
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Fuglsang in one of his early positions

Fuglsang in one of his early positions (Image credit: Specialized)
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The Performance Program team check the data as Fuglsang rides at a set tempo

The Performance Program team check the data as Fuglsang rides at a set tempo (Image credit: Specialized)
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Fuglsang was good at lowering his head

Fuglsang was good at lowering his head (Image credit: Specialized)
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Fuglsang was good at lowering his head

Fuglsang was good at lowering his head (Image credit: Specialized)
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Vincenzo Nibali at speed on the track

Vincenzo Nibali at speed on the track (Image credit: Specialized)
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A side on view of Nibali's original position

A side on view of Nibali's original position (Image credit: Specialized)
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A side on view of Nibali's original position

A side on view of Nibali's original position (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali at speed

Nibali at speed (Image credit: Specialized)
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Specialized hired the velodrome for all of Saturday afternoon

Specialized hired the velodrome for all of Saturday afternoon (Image credit: Specialized)
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Yarno Trullo is sharing his F1 experience with Nibali and the other Specialized riders as part of the Performance Program

Yarno Trullo is sharing his F1 experience with Nibali and the other Specialized riders as part of the Performance Program (Image credit: Specialized)
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The technicians work on Nibali's bike

The technicians work on Nibali's bike (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali warms up and his bike position is record before he rides on the track

Nibali warms up and his bike position is record before he rides on the track (Image credit: Specialized)
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The telemetry system is checked

The telemetry system is checked (Image credit: Specialized)
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Nibali's bike is wired for action

Nibali's bike is wired for action (Image credit: Specialized)

Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang spent Friday and Saturday working on their time trial bike positions with technicians from new bike sponsor Specialized, as they looks to save every possible second, and so limit their losses in races against the clock.

Specialized has developed an in-house Performance Program team of experts to help riders from the Astana, Saxo-Tinkoff, Omega Pharma- Quick Step and women's Specialized-Lululemon teams.

The US bike company spends millions sponsoring the likes of Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish and Nibali but is also investing over a hundred thousand dollars to help improve their riders' performance.

Nibali and Fuglsang underwent Body Geometry fit sessions at the Italian Specialized headquarters in Milan on Friday, testing several variations of their time trial positions. On Saturday they validated the same positions using a specially fitted telemetry system developed with the help of former F1 pilot Jarno Trulli, F1 engineer Gianni Sala and Moto GP specialist Matteo Flamigni, who works with Valentino Rossi.
and other Surprisingly it was the first time Nibali rode the Specialized Shiv time trial bike.

On the advice of Body Geometry Fit manager Sean Madsen, who was flown in from the USA, both Nibali and Fuglsang raised their aero bars to give them the shoulder flexibility to be able to drop their heads lower. Nibali's aero bars were also shortened to move him back on the bike and help him use his powerful quadricep muscles more and his hamstring and calves less. However on the track, Nibali struggled to keep his head in the low turtle neck position and the data indicate there was only a real performance gain when his arm position was narrowed. Nibali promised to work on lowering his head but insisted on using the new position in the Tour of San Luis next week.

Nibali is considered a good time trialist but lost 5:40 to Wiggins in time trials at last year's Tour de France. He finished third overall at 6:19. He has a lot of work to do but knows that any improvements, and especially a more dedicated approach to time trialing, could help him when he takes on Wiggins at this year's Giro d'Italia. He is a traditionalist when it comes to equipment and technology but is also open to spending time on finding his own marginal gains.

"My old position wasn't bad but the Specialized Shiv is a new bike and I'm using the new Specialized shoes, and so I was keen to dial everything in and work to find some improvements. It was an important test, I was on the track for four hours," Nibali told Cyclingnews.

"We were looking for a balance between aerodynamics, power and stability, and I think we've started to find it. I feel more comfortable and I'm faster. Now I need to train for this position and get used to it."

Fuglsang traveled to Italy from his home in Luxembourg for the two days of testing. He worked with Specialized before moving to Radioshack and riding a Trek bike.

"I want to know I've done everything I can to achieve the maximum. I need to know that this is my best position, without any doubts that something else could be faster," he said.

"At the end of a major stage race, it's small, small percentages that make the difference between first and second and even third and fifth; were talking about just a few seconds separate in key moments of the race. You've got to be open to change and improvement. Looking for change can also give you extra motivation. I like to do this stuff and see what is better and what isn't."