As you may have heard, this year’s Giro d’Italia hosts a feast of time trialling. In fact, more than we’ve had in quite some time. That’s attracted not only some of the world's best purists in the discipline to the race, but also those GC contenders who boast enviable ability both in the mountains and against the clock.
One such rider is current road race world champion Remco Evenepoel, who, after winning the Vuelta a España in comfortable style last year, has taken aim at the pink jersey. Current Belgium champion, the 23-year-old would probably be considered a time trial specialist were it not for his ability to do pretty much everything equally well. He’s finished on the podium every time he’s competed in the World Championships time trial and is a former European champion too.
That incessant talent will stand him in good stead in the three Giro time trials, as will some top notch aero equipment.
His Soudal - Quick-Step team is sponsored by Specialized, so the riders’ option for time trials is the American brand’s S-Works Shiv Disc. This particular model has been around for almost four years, so there’s nothing especially new about the frame. Its aero qualities are seemingly undiminished though as it continues to help carry riders to WorldTour time trial victories. Evenepoel’s Giro team-mate Josef Černý won most recently on the Shiv in the Tour de Romandie prologue.
The decals stuck to Evenepoel’s bike are perhaps the most interesting recent additions to the frame. As a Shimano sponsored team, Soudal - Quick-Step are joining in with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Japanese components giant’s flagship Dura-Ace line, as exemplified on the seatstay sticker. We’re yet to hear whether there’ll be a special edition groupset released as Shimano did when it turned 25 in 1998.
Elsewhere, there’s a Belgian themed ‘aero bullet’ sticker on the top tube to perhaps try and inspire some motivation while he’s looking down. That sits below the UCI height category label which regulates TT bike setup measurements. Unsurprisingly for a man of 1.71m, Evenepoel is in the lowest category of one.
The bike is kitted out with a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, although not the latest 12-speed R9270 model. Instead, Evenepoel is still running the older R9150 series. We’re unsure why, but it might be to do with the custom setup of shifters at the front end.
The Dura-Ace crank and power meter is attached to some bespoke aluminium chainrings created by a Dutch company called The Mechanic Parts. Evenepoel is using a 60-tooth big ring for the opening time trial which is unsurprising given how flat the course is. He’s opted to continue using the 2x setup here as well, despite the aero vogue currently being a 1x setup.
Judging by the leftover residue, Evenepoel is using a waxed chain for extra drivetrain efficiency gains as well. There’s no oversized ceramic jockey wheels in the rear derailleur though, just the standard Dura-Ace pair.
Up front Evenepoel is using a custom built set of arm extensions attached to the Specialized base bar. The extensions are made by Dutch company Speedbar and are built from a mould of Evenepoel’s arms. The ends are also custom shaped to suit Evenepoel’s favoured hand position that also allows him to be as aerodynamic as possible. There’s padded inserts to the carbon extension for added comfort, with some grip tape added to the ends. There’s shifters added to the underside of the ends as well for easier gear changes while in his most aero position.
The aero base bar actually looks surprisingly wide, particularly considering Evenepoel’s narrow bars used in his road bike setup. It’s left uncovered save for some more grip tape on either handle near the brakes. There’s additional gear shifters by the brake levers too.
There’s a Roval disc wheel on the rear, while the front is a Roval Rapide CLX 64, the same as many riders use on flat road stages. We’ve seen Evenepoel switch this front wheel out in the past, including at the Vuelta time trial he won last year, instead opting for a much deeper front wheel from non-sponsor Aerocoach.
The front and rear wheels are equipped with 40mm Shimano disc rotors and both wheels are shod with S-Works Turbo Cotton tyres in 26mm width. Evenepoel seems to favour these tyres through most of the racing he does, using them in his road bike setup too.
His saddle of choice in the time trials is the short-nosed Specialized Sitero, which sits atop a reversed seat post and is slammed as far forward as it can go on the rails, allowing him to get much more forward position over the bottom bracket.
An aero Tacx water bottle and cage completes Evenepoel’s time trial setup.
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