South African UCI Professional Continental team MTN-Qhubeka’s German sprinter Gerald Ciolek yesterday stuck his Trek Madone team bike over the Milan-San Remo finish line ahead of race favourite Peter Sagan and another Trek rider Fabian Cancellara. His victory marked the first time a Pro Continental team has won a monument and the first time an African registered team has won one on the first time a team from Africa has ridden a monument.
Trek have been supporting MTN-Qhubeka since 2011, and this season supply their top-end Madone 7.9. The team also enjoy the support of SRAM, so a full complement of SRAM Red, with Bontrager finishing kit (bars, stem and seatpost) and Zipp wheels. That's a tidy package then, and certainly gives nothing to the bigger WorldTour teams. All things considered, the bikes and equipment of the pro peloton make for a very level playing field.
The Madone 7.9 is the same frame and fork as that ridden by Team Radioshack. It’s their latest model and incorporates some nifty aerodynamic features to help it slice more cleanly through the air. The rear brake has been relocated from the seat stays to down under the chainstays, just behind the bottom bracket.
Up front the downtube has been shaped to cut better through the air. Taking the lessons learnt from developing their time trial bike, the Speed Concept, Trek have used a Kammtail Virtual Foil shape. Along with the repositioned rear brake, these changes contribute to a 25 watt saving when riding at 40kph. You can read our review of the Madone here. It's the same off-the-shelf frame that Radioshack are using. Though guys like Cancellara will probably have a custom made version.
Trek are supporting the team's ambition to mobilise change in Africa by donating $200 to Qhubeka for each team paint scheme chosen through their Project One customisation programme.
They’re racing in Zipp wheels, with the 404 being the popular choice for races like Milan-San Remo. Bontrager supply aluminium handlebars and stems, and seatposts. The bikes with their bold colour scheme certainly stand out in the peloton.
You can see all the WorldTour team bikes here. We’re looking at producing a roundup of all the Continental team bikes soon
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.