Tech Tour of Flanders tech gallery: Part 3
Levers, bikes, and the lesser-spotted pedal.
As excitement builds ahead of Paris-Roubaix, we take another look at some of the tech from last weekend’s Tour of Flanders.
our first gallery, we took a look at some of the random Flanders tech that caught our eye. Part two took a closer look at the tyres the teams choose for Flanders. In part three we are looking at some of the levers, bikes, and lesser-spotted pedals of the pro peloton. Angled, angled-er, angled-est. Inward-angled levers are not new, but they are certainly much more popular this season. There were a few levers that particularly caught our eye in the Flanders start paddock. Like these on Dries de Poorter of Intermarché – Circus – Wanty’s Cube Litening Aero TE C68. Very low, very in, very clip-on aero bar-esque. By the wonders of combining the right camera angle and the modern lever angle, I can make it look like Taco van der Hoorn has no levers at all. While Kristoff keeps it traditional with his levers pretty much as straight as the modern intentionally inwardly designed lever gets. A medium angle on Lorena Wiebes’ levers on the as-of-yet unreleased Roval one-piece aero bar/stem. Jasper Stuyven and Mads Pedersen both have these Project One Red Smoke painted Trek Madones. The bike builds are otherwise identical to the rest of the team with SRAM Red eTap AXS, Bontrager Aeolus RSL 51 wheels, Time pedals and Bontrager finishing kit. As mentioned in our Flanders tyre feature, Stuyven and Pedersen both opted for Pirelli tubulars. Trek launched the new Madone SLR last year touting it as “the fastest and lightest disc Madone ever,” … …and it can also be described as “the one with the hole in it.” The Trek mechanics are taking no chances on battery escapes. The chrome SRAM lever decals is a pro-only finish that SRAM applies to all its sponsored equipment. We can just about see Stuyven’s wireless blip on the inside of the drops just below the lever. Stuyven has traditionally opted for straight levers but has now moved to a slightly more inward-angled setup. No blips for Pedersen, who, as we’ve noticed over the past three years, prefers a thin bar tape. The two leaders also opt for the dedicated Madone one-piece aero bar/stem while we have seen others on the team opted for the as-of-yet unreleased RSL aero handlebar this spring. K-Edge provides the mounts for the team’s Wahoo head units. 52/39T chainrings for Stuyven. All the UAE Team Emirates riders started with 6 mm hex keys taped to their seatpost so the rider could open the thru-axles before a mechanic gets to them in the event of an untimely puncture. Toe covers for the win. Adequate fueling is essential. In a race as long as Flanders, that means carrying a lot of bars and gels. Jhonatan Narváez’ stuffed his pockets as he rolled out for the start and you can be sure he picked up more food in the feed zones during the race. Kasia Niewiadoma is racing with the new Canyon Ultimate, SRAM Red eTap AXS, Zipp 303 Firecrest, Schwalbe Pro One tyres, Ergon saddle, and Canyon finishing kit. Niewiadoma opts for the more compact Rival/new Force AXS lever design again with the pro-only SRAM decal and arrow straight inclination. Kasia also has the lightweight computer mount we saw in the first of our Flanders tech galleries and opts to mount wireless blips on the underside of the bar tops for easier shifting while on the tops, as riders so often are when riding over the cobbles. The team races with carbon-railed Ergon SR Pro saddles. Zipp Firecrest 303 for Niewiadoma… …and 48/35T chainrings. I took this photo and it’s confused me ever since. It is not a photoshopped comparison of the upper and lower side of the pedals, but two bikes side by side with the stand providing the perfect image dissection. The SD Worx riders have their choice of Time pedals. A representative explained the more powerful sprinter type riders such as Weibes (left) choose the slightly heavier but stiffer Xpro 10 pedals with hollow steel axles and steel bearings, while the climbers on the squad choose the lighter Xpro 15 pedals with hollow titanium axles and ceramic bearings. Coryn Labecki’s Soloist caught our eye in a mass of Cervelo S5s. Grace Brown’s fork has met her frame. Such a hit would bring a tear to a glass eye, but it could also introduce a severe weakness in carbon. Hopefully, it has been properly assessed. EF Education-TIBCO-SVB were sporting Poc’s new Propel “aero” glasses, as seen here on Sara Poidevin. A rare appearance in the pro peloton for the Garmin Rally power meter pedals on the AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step team bikes.
2023 Tour of Flanders Tour of Flanders Women's Tour of Flanders