C50s all round

At the recent Fleche Wallonne we spent a bit of time hanging around the Rabobank Team Hotel, in the vain hope that the mechanics would be discarding a couple of sets of Dura Ace wheels or the odd unused Cristallo... Sadly this was not to be, but we did get an insight into the race and bike prep the Dutch mechanics go through and the chance to check out the little touches that pro riders prefer on their race machines.

It was a pretty straightforward day as there was good weather and no cobbles to worry about. All the riders used Dura Ace wheels with either the shallow or deep section version rim (mostly shallow that we saw). Vittoria CX-Evo pro corsa tubulars are the tyre of choice. Pro finishing kits including carbon bars and Selle San Marco saddles in a variety of flavours. The Dura Ace wheels were also on T-Mobile's bikes but with the Scandium rim. We keep asking for a test pair... one day soon.

when do I go?
Oscar's pace notes

Former World Champion Oscar Friere had an interesting piece of tape attached to his stem. This had a series of kilometre markers on it and some circled and some not. Presumably this corresponds to points in the race... later on, with the help of the route map, we worked it out - feed stations, passes of the Mur de Huy and a couple of tougher 'cotes' along the route.

Obviously these are cues for him to get to the front and "out of the wheels". Obviously things didn't go too well for the Spanish super-sprinter, he finished 75th 2'23" down on winner Valverde. Also worth noting that according to his on-board computer he had ridden 208kms that day (the finish at the Mur de Huy was at least 6 kms from the team hotel). We flicked through the functions and the average speed was a respectable 42.5 km/h and the maximum speed? A heart-stopping 77km/h.

Glad to see that we are not the only ones who have to hassle with clips and brackets to fit computers (and lights) to oversized handlebars... It's time they did something about that.

Team issue jeans for the mechanics Oscar's pride and joy, no doubt Special Black C50 for Mr. Erik Dekker
Selle San Marco saddles that Cristallo... I want, I want, I want... Team car duty