There’s a familiar warning against falling victim to opportunist thieves: do not leave valuables unattended. Sound advice. A similar sign could be hung off handlebars to warn mechanics that the bikes they’re handling haven’t actually been unveiled to the public yet.
Cycling fans don’t need a laminated pass to go backstage at a race. There aren’t turnstiles or ticket touts. There aren’t tickets! In a world where sport is big business, cycling still remains wholly accessible to its fans. Which is why, when a manufacturer has sent a secret machine to be blooded at a race, it’s highly likely that someone’s going to spot it at some point. This is what happened at Paris-Nice.
Wilier Triestina weren’t saying much about its new time trial bike that Jonathan Hivert from Direct Energie was seen riding for the time trial to Saint Etienne. It was then under an embargo. Then it sort of wasn’t anymore because the media had picked up on it – as we did when we went exploring the grounds of the 19th century manor in the Vendeé that serves as Direct Energie’s team HQ.
The new frame is very similar to the existing, and non-UCI legal, Turbine that’s being used at international triathlon events. Our sports governing body, however, approved the details of this version back in February, therefore giving it the green light for the season.
Its designers have plumped for a bladed down tube and up front, have equipped it with an external steerer and head tube combo. This seems to be a thing at the moment. Factor has a similar design on its ONE frame. The truncated seat tube sits flush with the rear wheel, in this case a Fast Forward Disc shod with Hutchinson Pro Tour tubular tyres. And it appears the engineers have bolstered the bike’s chassis with an oversized bottom bracket and chain stays.
No doubt that when Wilier Triestina do officially lift the lid on this new TT bike, they’ll have all the details of how much faster it is than the Twin Foil frame its superseding. Expect an official announcement sometime before the Giro.