RIDE at the Tour: Day Three
The chance to ride the final time trial course had everyone on the Tour excited.
The length and difficulty of the climb surprised everyone. Due to the early closure of the out-bound half of the 40.5km course we were only able to ride the last 20km into Annecy. The section we rode took in the deceptively difficult climb as well as the flat section that hugged the edge of the lac d’Annecy. It only rose just over 200m but the Cote de Bluffy broke any rhythm you may have had on the flat.
From the 28.5km mark the descent was fast and open with only one technical left-hander to worry about. Joining a tour such as that offered by Ronan Pensec can give you access to the course right up to the finish line.
Then it was time to hit the technical area to see what the riders had selected for the day. Cervélo mounted Elite bottles to all of the TestTeam’s P4 bikes to get around the UCI’s 3:1 rule. (For more information on the technical regulations grab a copy of RIDE #45, on sale now.)
All of the wheels used by Cadel Evans are marked by hand. At the Dauhpiné Libéré he tested a prototype Mavic wheelset and his impressions provide valuable feedback to the manufacturer.
Steven De Jongh was one of the first riders on course. His front wheel used a Zipp 808 rim and was mounted with an FMB tubular tyre. The rear wheel was an aluminium Roval item from Specialized that team use for warming up.
The Cofidis Look 596 time trial rigs used the company’s integrated bottom bracket and crank arrangement.
Samuel Dumoulin rides a standard Campagnolo Record crankset but a 50/38 combination from Stronglight is better suited to the rider’s stature.
Matt White shared a few words of encouragement with Tyler Farrar before the sprinter set off on his lap of the lake.
The mechanics were kept busy all day, making final adjustments to suit the hilly course.
Bernhard Eisel was riding his sixth Tour in 2009 and the Austrian looked calm. Scott’s new frame was the primary bike for the team but a selection of prototypes from the previous 12 months were mounted to the cars as spares.