Tech Tour of Flanders tech gallery: Part 1
The tech that caught our eye In Bruges.
The 2023 Ronde van Vlaanderen will surely go down as one for the ages. Spoiler alert, Tadej Pogačar took the honours in an enthralling and fascinating race.
The tech action in the start paddock proved equally fascinating. In an era of increasingly homogeneous tech, the 2023 Flanders threw up more than its fair share of interesting and diverging setups amongst the teams.
Here is the first of several Flanders tech galleries to come in the days ahead.
Pros on Dura-Ace almost always run Shimano’s 54-40T chainring setup these days, except this one Soudal-Quickstep rider on the 56-44T combo. Jumbo-Visma had more than a few Cervelo Soloists as spare bikes on the second team car. The riders reportedly also use the Soloist as a training bike. We caught a fleeting glimpse of Van der Poel’s new Canyon Aeroad. The only meaningful difference is the seatpost clamp, which has shifted from down low on the rear of the seat tube, to the top tube. This also implies Canyon may have gotten ridden of the flexible seatpost feature originally introduced at the bike’s launch, which later proved problematic due to fretting. Maurice Ballerstedt’s current generation Canyon Aeroad still has the seatpost clamp on the rear of the seat tube, just above the seatstays. Canyon says Van der Poel’s 3D-printed computer mount weighs just 17 g. With a 30-rider roster all using identical gear, riders need a way to easily identify their stuff. Movistar’s Lazkano was among several SRAM riders running SRAM’s pro-only 54/41T chainring combo. Non UCI racers – attach air deflectors here. Arkea-Samsic raced aboard the divisive new Bianchi Oltre RC. The Bianchi bar-stem design has come under much criticism, but … As my mum always said, be careful what you wish for. The Elite Pria Pave is a fibre-reinforced composite bottle cage said to offer improved bottle retention over rough surfaces. The retention system adjusts to the size of the bidon. It seems like a great idea, but the aesthetics leave a little to be desired. The Arkea riders, like many, still rely on the Shimano R9100P power meter from the 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace groupset. The Belgian Bingoal WB squad are racing De Rosa Meraks with the 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace groupset. Peter Sagan has a similar R9170 setup. Sagan not only uses the R9100P power meter, but also a GRX Di2 rear derailleur and CeramicSpeed’s Oversize Pulley Wheel System. EF Education-Easypost have proved one of the revelations of the 2023 season so far. They have 13 wins already – four wins more than their entire 2022 campaign – and a host of impressive top-tens. Coincidentally, the team also has a new bike for this season, racing the new Cannondale SuperSix Evo with the company’s new Lab71 premium carbon layup. Some things never change. Jonas Rutsch is still rocking this lengthy 15 cm stem. Caley’s hand for reference. FWIW, Caley claims he has very large hands. Allegedly. Speedplay Aero heart emoji. Power2Max take care of EF’s power measurement Power2Max also handles power meter duties for Israel-Premier Tech. This season, uno-X and Alexandre Kristoff are racing Dare’s VSRu aero offering. The team traditionally raced with red painted frames, but the team and brand opted for this almost bare-carbon design this year in a bid to save some weight. A team representative estimated the switch from red to just a thin protective layer saved approximately 100 grams. The barely-there paint reveals various areas where woven reinforcement layers are used. If you ask me, the new paint job is a vast improvement over last year’s red. Kristoff opts for the one-piece Aero1V bar stem from Dare. The Uno X riders also have the option of this Vetox Ace two-piece handlebar and stem setup, as seen here on Martin Urianstad’s bike. Trek Segafredo’s Bontrager Bat Cage bottle cages are made using recycled ocean plastics. ( Editor’s note: They’re great cages – super simple, no carbon fiber, light. They just work. – Caley) Trek Segafredo had these anodized titanium bolts from Kogel to save weight and also to match the bike and kits.
2023 Tour of Flanders Tour of Flanders