The Tour de France stage three team time trial gave an opportunity for the general classification teams who had already lost some time in the opening two stages to recoup some of their losses.
BMC Racing, Team Sky and Mitchelton-Scott were a trio of teams hoping to do exactly that, putting the best part of a minute into the likes of Movistar, Bahrain-Merida and AG2R La Mondiale.
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As gaps become closer and closer, the finest margins can win time trial stages and so gains are looked to be made everywhere, even if resulting in only the smallest aero advantage.
While Team Sky made headlines earlier in the day with a new Castelli Body Paint 4.2b speedsuit, BMC Racing rolled down the start ramp in Cholet also wearing a new Assos speedsuit, alongside matching, team issue white and silver aero oversocks.
Almost every team, bar those not expecting to perform well, were equipped with aero oversocks and speedsuits, alongside the expected time trial helmets and time trial-specific bikes.
Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain-Merida raced the stage on an as yet unseen new time trial frameset from Merida. The Merida Time Warp TT is an update to the existing Merida Warp frameset and sees several geometry, tubing and aero updates as Nibali mounts his GC challenge and aims for a second Tour de France title.
CeramicSpeed’s OSPW rear derailleur upgrade was a popular choice among several teams, with AG2R La Mondiale also looking to use the drivetrain efficiency specialists’ UFO Drip chain lubricant.
A handful of newly crowned national time trial champions were at the race, with riders such as Geraint Thomas and Pierre Latour racing the stage aboard newly customised Pinarello Bolide TT and Factor Slick respectively painted in their national colours.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at all the time trial tech on show from stage three at the Tour de France.