Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) and a few select others were helped around the wet Rotterdam prologue course by a new Giro time trial helmet - further development of the experimental TT-284 lid we saw at last year's Tour de France.
As before, the new helmets sport a shortened tail that is considered more aerodynamic than the traditional long shape, when taken into consideration that the rider's head doesn't stay glued in one position all the time.
The removable visor carries over as well, along with the lower rear cover that's already been proven in the wind tunnel to be very effective.
Interestingly, the helmet does not display any external vents whatsoever - not even in the tail like before - which suggests to us that Giro has further progressed its internal channeling system.
The rear ends of the helmets differ between riders. Armstrong's is distinctly more rounded and sports a far sharper tip. It is a fully custom-built helmet made especially - and only - for him. It is called the 'LAX'.
In order to create the optimum helmet for Armstrong's physiology and unique, humpback riding position - and to get around the Texan's vigorous travel schedule - Giro's recently formed Advanced Concepts Group actually went so far as to take laser scans of his head and torso, then built a model that could be used for wind tunnel testing. Giro says it tested up to 100 prototypes in total.
According to a press release sent by Giro, the company has no plans whatsoever to bring the helmet to production; only that certain design features will eventually find their way into future aero models.