Pinarello launched their new Bolide TT bike on Friday just in time for the Giro - or so it was assumed - and a very serious bit of kit it looks too… but maybe they shouldn't have rushed. Seems Team Sky are sticking to the Graal - the bike they know.
Our man Simon was loitering by the Pinarello stand yesterday in Naples when he spotted this bike on display. Simon was assured by the nice man from Pinarello that this was the actual TT bike Sir Bradley would be piloting today - and it certainly looks like it. It was only polite to pop off a few shots - although the stand was too crowded to get a pic of the whole bike - and our boy was too polite to get his elbows out (probably afraid of being jostled by men with stick-on sideburns - ed). Now this might not be the actual bike Wiiggins is riding today, he's certainly on a Graal that looks very like it - so even if it isn't it could well be his spare bike.
Apart from its natty black and yellow paint job, what else stands out about this bike? Well the two things that struck us were that although the overall position looks quite low the tri-bars seem to be set quite high - we're not experts on Wiggo's TT position but… Also, interesting to note, if this is Wiggin's machine is that this bike is running mechanical Dura Ace rather than the Di2 version that you might have expected to see. Mind you, after the much celebrated 'bike-parking' incident - attributed by some to the Di2 battery running out* just at as a crucial gear change was being made - maybe Wiggins is putting his faith in a mechanical set up this time out.
At Friday's launch Pinarello claimed that the Bolide offered a five per cent weight advantage and more importantly a 15 per cent aerodynamic advantage over the Graal. But maybe in Team Sky's thinking working with what you know going in to the crucial team time trial so early in the race trumps any marginal gains that might be on offer from a new bike as yet untested in battle… or maybe Pinarello simply don't have enough of them yet to kit out two teams (Movistar also ride Pinarello) and we'll see a handful of star riders on them in the individual TT later in the race with a full roll-out for the Tour.
Wiggins fans +sideburns enjoying the pre-race atmos in Naples yesterday
*The alleged problem with the battery was not caused because Di2 batterys run out too quickly on the contrary the story is that because they last so long a hapless mechanic had failed to charge it up.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.