Nicole Cooke, Britain's main gold medal hope in the Olympic women's road race this weekend, will be racing on the new full carbon Boardman Road Pro Race Prepared. Cooke's team-mate Sharon Laws will also ride the new bike,which is a significant upgrade to the aluminium Boardman Pro that Cooke has used for much of this season.
The Boardman Road Pro Race Prepared will be available to everyone else later this year for about £3000, but right now Cooke and Laws have the only two.
"We wanted to give Nicole and Sharon something extra special for the road race in Beijing," said Chris Boardman who has been heavily involved on the technical side of Britain's bid for cycling gold at the Olympics. "Nicole's new bike is a preview of what is to come from the 2009 range of bikes."
The Road Pro Race Prepared frame and fork is made from unidirectional high modulus carbon fibre for a claimed weight of less than 1kg (frame) and 360g (fork). It's specced with SRAM Red and Ritchey WCS wheels, making for a lightweight overall package. Nicole Cooke's bike is claimed to weigh 13.66lbs/6.2kg without pedals - well under the legal UCI limit of 6.8kg, so we assume a bit of ballast will be added on race day.
Nicole Cooke has been using her new rig in training and racing for the best part of three weeks leading up to the Games.
"In terms of the frame geometry, it's got a safe feel," she told BikeRadar. "It's a very firm bike to race on which is very encouraging. And it's carbon fibre so it's lighter than my previous bike."
Cooke added that it handles beautifully around corners, a desirable quality in a high end race machine. Whether it carries her to a gold medal or not in Sunday's 126km road race remains to be seen.
- Unidirectional high modulus carbon fibre frame, claimed to weigh under 1kg
- 1.5in oversized lower fork steerer and headset
- 1.5in compatible fork constructed from unidirectional high modulus carbon fibre weighing 360g
- Internal rear brake cable routing
- Internal outer gear cable routing through the head tube
- Aero section down tube
- Oversize box section chain stays
- Curved seat stays
- SRAM Red groupset
- Claimed total bike weight: 13.66lbs/6.2kg, excluding pedals
Note: The new carbon range of Boardman bikes (16 models) will be launched later this year and be available through Bikehut at selected Halfords and standalone Bikehut stores.