UCI Road World Championships: Will Alex Dowsett ride a blacked-out Specialized Shiv TT bike?

Ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in Imola, we're looking at Alex Dowsett's set-up as a likely tech talking point of the race. The Briton is well known for paying close attention to aerodynamics and for optimising his equipment, and it is speculated that he will use a similar set-up to his recent choices for the European Time Trial Championships in Plouay

In that race, Dowsett finished fourth aboard a blacked-out time trial bike, unbranded wheels and a POC Tempor helmet, with its logo covered with a sticker. 

With a little digging, we've worked out Dowsett's kit list from that race.

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What is Alex Dowsett's blacked-out time trial bike?

  • Frame: Specialized S-Works Shiv TT
  • Front wheel: Revolver Troika TMD (Trispoke Mini Disc) tubular disc
  • Rear wheel: Roval Rapide 321 tubular disc (rumoured to use tubeless in Imola)
  • Front tyre: Vittoria Corsa Speed tubular
  • Rear tyre: Vittoria Corsa Speed tubular (rumoured to use Specialized Turbo RapidAir)
  • Groupset: Dura-Ace Di2 Disc, with Ceramicspeed OSPW
  • Crankset: Rotor Aldhu 
  • Power meter: Power2Max power meter
  • Cockpit: Aerocoach Ascalon
  • Helmet: POC Tempor
  • Skinsuit: Kalas Brios Aero
  • Shoes: Custom moulded GB track shoes
  • Sunglasses: Oakley Flightjacket 

Dowsett lines up in Imola for the elite men's time trial on Friday as an outside favourite for the rainbow bands, and in the pursuit of finding every last second available, Cyclingnews understands that Dowsett will turn to non-trade-team tech once again for the flat 32km course. 

The UCI Road World Championships are the one event per year in which a rider is permitted to use whatever technology they please as they represent their nation in the pursuit of the title of world champion. Although, while trade team rules technically relax, the pressure from trade teams and sponsors is ever-present, as New Zealand's Linda Villumsen learned when she rode a blacked-out, non-team-issue bike on her way to the world time trial title in 2015, and was nearly sacked by her UnitedHealthcare bosses.

The subject reached boiling point this time last year as Rohan Dennis rode a BMC Teammachine instead of his Bahrain-Merida team-provided Merida Time Warp TT bike. No formal rules were broken by the Australian – who went onto win the race – but it gave the cycling world a rather unsubtle clue of the contract termination news that was to follow shortly after.

The reasons for Dowsett to make such equipment changes are unquestionably in the search for speed. His Israel Start-Up Nation team are sponsored by Factor, whose Slick time trial bike he used at the recent Tirreno Adriatico time trial, where he finished dead last because of mechanical issues. 

The British national time trial champion has British Cycling staff available to him who will be able to provide wind-tunnel testing for various positions and equipment, making recommendations around the fastest equipment choices.

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