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Holowesko-Citadel riders test TT positions in A2 wind tunnel - Gallery

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Technicians and the rider continue to seek the optimal aerodynamic TT position

Technicians and the rider continue to seek the optimal aerodynamic TT position
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Holowesko-Citadel rider Andzs Flaksis works on his time trial position in the wind tunnel

Holowesko-Citadel rider Andzs Flaksis works on his time trial position in the wind tunnel
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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The fans that power the wind tunnel.

The fans that power the wind tunnel.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Inside the empty A2 wind tunnel

Inside the empty A2 wind tunnel
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Holowesko-Citadel Mechanic Casey Magner works on one of the bikes

Holowesko-Citadel Mechanic Casey Magner works on one of the bikes
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Rider and bike ready for the test to begin.

Rider and bike ready for the test to begin.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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A view from outside the wind tunnel while a rider is tested.

A view from outside the wind tunnel while a rider is tested.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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A view from outside the wind tunnel while a rider is tested.

A view from outside the wind tunnel while a rider is tested.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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A rider looks at projected images of his own position during the test

A rider looks at projected images of his own position during the test
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing

One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing

One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing

One of the Holowesko-Citadel Felt TT bikes is ready for testing
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Holowesko-Citadel rider Andzs Flaksis works on his time trial position in the wind tunnel

Holowesko-Citadel rider Andzs Flaksis works on his time trial position in the wind tunnel
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Setting up the bike for the wind tunnel tests.

Setting up the bike for the wind tunnel tests.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Computers assist the technicians in dialling in rider position

Computers assist the technicians in dialling in rider position
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Big fans await Andzs Flaksis at the A2 wind tunnel.

Big fans await Andzs Flaksis at the A2 wind tunnel.
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Technicians work with a rider on his head position

Technicians work with a rider on his head position
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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A Holowesko-Citadel rider works on hand position

A Holowesko-Citadel rider works on hand position
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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The A2 wind tunnel awaits its test subject

The A2 wind tunnel awaits its test subject
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)
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A mechanic's tool bag is ready for action during the tests

A mechanic's tool bag is ready for action during the tests
(Image credit: Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear)

In an effort to improve their general classification efforts, riders from the Holowesko-Citadel team followed up their recent spring camp with a stop at the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina. 

The full-scale wind tunnel was purpose-built for NASCAR in 2006, but cyclists have been taking advantage of its services as well. With many of his riders in South Carolina for recent team training camp, Holowesko-Citadel director Thomas Craven decided to schedule some time for his riders.

"We've got some of the best equipment out there with Felt DA Series frames, Osymetric USA rings and the new Giro helmets," Craven said. "And we've sort of built ourselves on these stage finishes and being aggressive, so I think the natural progression is to finish the stages off and start winning stage races. A big part of all these stage races is the time trial. One thing I've done during the time off from last year to this year is strengthen the time trailing skills as well as the time trialists themeslves."

An increased focus on time trialing skills might sound odd coming from the director of the US team time trial national champions, but Craven said the focus now will be on individual efforts. To that end, Craven has also brought on board former Team Sky, BMC and Tinkoff coach Bobby Julich to consult with some of his riders.

"In the team thing we're great," he said. "We did pretty well in Alberta. We were the first Continental team, and it was a good for us, but I think to be more competitive in the individual time trials is something we've never really worked on."

Holowesko's Jon Hornbek, in an entry on his personal blog, said he jumped at the chance to spend some time in the wind tunnel.

"The time trial discipline is the one area where you can basically 'buy time' unlike other areas in cycling, and this is where you see people with best bikes, top of the line wheels, the newest aero helmets and so on," Hornbeck wrote. "That all goes only so far though; if your bike fit on your bike is off and you’re not in the best position possible, you are just giving up time right there. I haven’t had the chance to do much work with my position—it’s more or less UCI legal and I race it as is. That sort of thinking works on the road bike, but on a TT rig it doesn’t always end up with the best results."

Hornbeck said his two-hour session in the wind tunnel led to changing almost everything about his TT set up, from head position, to saddle height to raised bars pads moved inward.

"My blank canvas was more or less a blank sail; the changes made resulted in a 10 percent improvement. That’s massive and now I’m actually really looking forward to getting to the races, and testing out my new position in a time trial."