Tour de Romandie tech gallery

Mudguards, mechanical groupsets and miserable weather

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com

The Tour de Romandie has built a reputation for wet and miserable weather in recent years. Despite being on the cusp of spring and with the first Grand Tour just days away, the race can feel like a tough winter training ride, but it offers the general classification protagonists a chance to test their legs in the build-up to the Giro d’Italia and a solid racing block for those focused on the Tour de France.

With the famous wet weather of the race ensuring temperatures in the single figures, driving rain and even snow, the riders had an array of wet and cold weather gear on show in this year’s race, where Richie Porte (BMC) claimed the overall honours.

Team Sky tested a 2018 version of an updated Castelli jacket, while many riders wore non-sponsor clothing with the exposed labels blacked out to prevent any sponsor grumblings or contract breaches.

Several teams opted to equip their bikes with lightweight plastic mudguards clipped onto their saddles. The guards offer extra protection from road spray, are quick to install or remove and add little weight to the bikes.

Early race leader Fabio Felline has a lucky horseshoe on his stem
Early race leader Fabio Felline has a lucky horseshoe on his stem

The usual custom frames were on show for the national champions, while Fabio Felline’s lucky horseshoe on his stem seemed to work for the opening three days of the race after the Italian scorched to victory in the prologue time trial.

Wanty-Groupe Gobert was the only non-WorldTour team at the race, and the Pro Continental outfit’s bikes were equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical groupsets. Several Astana riders were also seen racing with Shimano Ultegra chains and cassettes, showing that top-of-the-range components are not always necessary.

Following a mixed bag of old and new Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets earlier in the year, more and more teams are moving onto the latest 9100 series components.

Team Sky and BMC Racing had their whole teams on the 9100 series wheelsets, the first time we have seen the full complement for a team at a race. Shimano have stated that all teams have enough 9100 wheels for the race programme. Despite this, several teams have saved the latest wheels from Shimano just for their top riders.

Click or swipe through the gallery above to see what was on display at the Swiss race.

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Josh has been a fan of road racing since a youngster, partly due to an obsession with a certain Texan during his earlier years. Josh is now based in Bristol via running a popular cycling cafe in Surrey near where he grew up.
  • Discipline: Road
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