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Electronics manufacturer Belkin signed up as headline sponsor to the team formerly known as Blanco (and before that Rabobank) just a week before the Tour de France – leaving Giant with something of a tight turnaround to give the team’s bikes a new lick of paint.
This machine in the gallery above belongs to domestique Maarten Wynants; a 31-year-old Belgian who has recorded top ten finishes in Paris-Roubaix and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and at the Tour de France has helped team-mates Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam to second and fifth overall going into the Alps.
Belkin riders have two machines to choose from on road stages, with Giant’s first aero bike, the Propel, added to the line-up alongside the TCR Advanced following its launch in January.
The Propel is Wynants’ machine of choice and narrow is fast, as far as Giant as concerned, with the frame sporting a tiny frontal area and aerodynamically-refined tube profiles.
Integration is the keyword as far as aero bikes are concerned and the Propel’s brakes are neatly hidden behind the fork and seatstays. While consumer models use a TRP-manufactured linear-pull brake, Belkin’s machines sport custom made stoppers to allow for quick wheel changes, regardless of rim width.
Take a look at the gallery above for a closer inspection of Wynants’ machine.