Shimano have said that they are investigating how as many as three of their wheels failed dramatically during the team time trial on the opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The incidents saw Team Sky lose time and essentially drop out of the general classification battle. BMC’s winning time was over 58km/h for the 22.7km course.
Gianni Moscon's spectacular crash, following a front wheel failure, was one of the more memorable moments of stage 1. In the incident, the tubular tyre became separated from the wheel and various pieces of carbon seemed to splinter off before total failure caused Moscon to come off of his bike.
It was reported that the team had hit a series of potholes prior to the incident on the fast stage.
Following the stage, where Team Sky conceded 1:42 to BMC Racing, Geraint Thomas was reported as saying three of his teammates' wheels collapsed during the stage, although there is only footage of Moscon’s front wheel failure.
BMC Racing used the same PRO wheels during the stage, so it is suspected that the incident is isolated, but Cyclingnews will update the investigation from Shimano as it continues. Orica-Scott, FDJ, Sunweb and LottoNL-Jumbo also use the three-spoke wheels.
In the full statement from Shimano, whose component wing of the business, PRO, produced the three spoke Textreme tubular wheel, Shimano said that the wheels had passed rigorous testing and emphasised its “flawless record”.
"PRO is continuing its investigation into the issue we saw with Team Sky at the team time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico. We are continuing to look closely into all factors that could cause the incident," the statement read.
"During production the three-spoke wheel passed PRO's extremely high internal quality control and ISO/UCI standards. PRO's three-spoke wheel was introduced in 2014 and has a flawless record, achieving countless time trial victories since, including BMC's team time trial win in the same stage. In the meantime we wish Gianni Moscon the best of luck in the remaining stages of Tirreno-Adriatico."