A new year means a new UCI WorldTour season, with the Tour Down Under having kicked off proceedings in Adelaide this month. And the start of a new season means a first opportunity to see newly-refreshed teams, complete with new sponsors, bikes and riders all getting their first taste of top-level competitive action in 2018.
So, what will the teams be riding this year? Well there’s a generous smattering of new bikes launched at the end of last season, including the third generation BMC TeamMachine SLR01, the aero-optimised Specialized S-Works SL6, the latest Merida Reacto and the revamped Lapierre Aircode.
No doubt the answer will also evolve this year as new models make their way under the pro riders at flagship events like the Paris-Roubaix and Tour de France. And, of course, there’s the issue of disc brakes.
With the likes of Trek-Segafredo openly stating they’ll be adopting disc brake Emondas for 2018, and given brake and frame technology has advanced to the point it can now easily trouble the 6.8kg UCI weight limit, it can hardly be a surprise that this will once again form a significant bike tech story in 2018.
Remember, Marcel Kittel won four stages of the Tour de France last year on a disc brake Specialized Venge ViAS, so really, the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
For now, however, let’s concentrate on what we know at the start of 2018. Who’s riding what this season?Read on.