The time-trial is a special discipline: a battle against the clock, the meshing of rider and machine. To do well in the TT the machine must be dialed in, mating to seamlessly to the athletes form. In 2017 we are partnered with Orbea and both men and women are riding the Ordu TT bikes outfitted with Pioneer power meters, Vision and FSA cockpit and support, Shimano Di2, and in race conditions Shimano 9100 carbon fiber wheels.
Our fitting process starts on a trainer, but quickly progresses to the wind tunnel. The team has worked with Faster, in Scottsdale, Arizona for years refining fit and aerodynamic positions.
It’s amazing in the wind tunnel, when you start crunching the data…Assumptions that are most commonly made are often thrown straight out the window. Each rider and piece of equipment has a unique relationship with each other that can only be defined by studying at this close detail. In a sport that’s driven by cutting edge performance, if you’re not in here, you’re leaving something on the table.
Ben Day, High Performance Director
Being a successful team is more than testing and training, it’s also about sharing meals and spending time getting to know each other.
After initial wind tunnel testing, we take to the road to see how the fit affects real-world performance. We work with BestBikeSplit to examine how course conditions can affect power output, from wind speed to elevation changes.
On our road test day the skies decided darken, and eventually crush us with a short deluge of rain. Standing on the side of the road and waiting for weather to pass seems to be part of the game when it comes to bike racing. You either ride through it, or wait it out. We waited it out and got back to work.
It’s hard work, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy ourselves a bit while we are at it…
In the end, the special nature of the time-trial means that even more preparation goes into being successful at it. For us, success is showing up prepared and ready to fight, unwilling to back down.