Bradley Wiggins’ winning margins in the 2012 Tour de France were built on excellent performances in the time trials, and dominating in TTs has been a tactic he’s used to huge effect as a dedicated stage racer. The 2013 Giro d’Italia has more than 90km against the clock on three separate days of racing, though 20.6km of that is a mountain time trial on stage 18.
Last week, Team Sky’s bike sponsors, Pinarello, unveiled the brand new Bolide time trial bike. Could this be the key weapon in the team’s latest objective – victory at this year’s Giro d’Italia?
Wiggins will be the only rider using the new frameset in today’s 17.4km team time trial on the island of Ischia. As such, Team Sky’s mechanics were very protective of the bike when BikeRadar went to photograph it at the team hotel on the outskirts of Naples last night.
The Italian company claim that in tests, the new frame, made of the same carbon used in the Pinarello Dogma 65.1 (Torayca 65HM1K), produces 15 percent less drag than its predecessor, the Graal. Plus, it’s supposedly five percent lighter.
Referencing road TT success at the 2012 Olympics
First impressions are that the Bolide looks neater and more aero than the Graal, thanks to the aerofoil tubing and the elimination of cabling entering the side of the head tube. The rear wheel – inserted via horizontal dropouts – also sits extremely close to the frame.
Wiggins is using a mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, with an SRM crankset mounted to a BB86 bottom bracket. The carbon brake levers are made by Pinarello. The cockpit – apart from the bar extensions – is a special unit designed at the UK Sports Institute.
Front on, there's not much for the wind to push against
In terms of wheels, at the front is a tubular HED H3 with 22mm Veloflex Carbon tyre. At the back is a PRO Carbon Textreme disc with a 25mm Veloflex Carbon tyre. Completing the bike are a Fi’zi:k Ares saddle and Wiggins’ Speedplay pedals.