Mat placed on cobbles to help Dumoulin change bike in Worlds TT

Posted on: September 18th, 2017

Dumoulin change bikes mat Worlds TT

Tom Dumoulin is chasing TT gold at the World Championships in Bergen. He will change bikes on a special mat and a team staff member will be allowed to help, including pushing him off again and up onto the final climb. Above, on his way to outright victory at the Giro.

 

Dumoulin to change bikes on mat in Worlds TT

 

Tom Dumoulin has confirmed, in media interviews in Holland, that he will change bikes during the Worlds TT on Wednesday.

A mat of about 20 metres in length will be placed on the cobbles to allow the bike change. Dumoulin will get off his TT bike on the mat and switch to his road bike.

 

 

A team official will be allowed to push him off, even when his feet are in the pedals. But the push must end while rider and ‘pusher’ are still on the mat.

With the TT featuring a tough uphill finish, Dumoulin will very likely not be alone in changing bikes.

But it is the Giro winner who has explained how the bike change area will work.

The mat placed on the cobbles, he said, is effectively a mini pits area in which the bike change must take place.

And the mat will make it easier for riders to grip the road in their cycling shoes, and thus speed up the bike change.

“I think there will be more riders, but they have not spoken about it,” he said of changing bikes.

When asked if he would change even if he felt he was on a top ride on his TT bike he confirmed he would:.”We have chosen to do this now.”

 

Dumoulin change bikes mat Worlds TT

Dumoulin change bikes mat Worlds TT

Ryan Mullen of Ireland has opted out of the TT in Bergen. And Tony Martin – left, on the podium at Worlds 2014 – has complained about the course.

 

And the 26-year-old, who won a fantastic Giro this year, said he would love to cap his season with gold in the TT at these World Championships in Bergen.

“This year, of course, I’ve got my (big moment) with the Giro win. But this would be the icing on the cake.”

When the Worlds TT course was unveiled it was controversial with its uphill finish.

The first portion of the course is mostly flat. That is then followed by a long section of climbing at the end. As a result, many felt it was perfect for a bike change.

The TT is 31km and features the 3.4km climb of Mount Fløyen at the end. It rises over nine per cent and the final kilometre is over 10 per cent.

It has been a controversial inclusion because only the elite men’s TT finishes there.

The UCI is clearly looking to attract the major Grand Tour riders to the Worlds TT this year.

But specialists are not happy; multi world champion Tony Martin voicing his displeasure.

The German won the title for a fourth time last year and will ride on Wednesday. But he has complained the course ends his chances of winning again.

One TT specialist who has opted out of the race is Ireland’s Ryan Mullen.

The Irish TT and road champion is a power rider and climbing of any significance, let alone Wednesday’s ramp, does not suit Mullen.

Nicolas Roche will be Ireland’s sole representative and he will not fear the climb; a feature that probably betters his chances.

Increasingly, pro riders in both TTs and road races are opting to change bikes when climbing requires it.

TT bikes are much faster on the flat. But for climbing, a road bike is preferred by the vast majority of riders.

Riders now have expert team assistance meaning they can change bikes in a matter of seconds.

Riders regularly change bikes

And because a road bike would be judged by many to result in more time gained than the seconds lost when switching bikes, several riders are expected to switch during Wednesday’s TT.

Switching bikes is now so common that riders at times change bikes more than once during very hilly Grand Tour stages.

They switch from a conventional road bike to one set up for climbing and then often back again.

 

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