I’m old enough to remember the first aero bars, and also how all the cyclists thought it was hilarious that I was riding a bike with them. Then, in 1989, Greg Lemond won the Tour de France because of his Scott DH handlebars and aero helmet that all of us triathletes had been using for years. Suddenly, cyclists got interested.
When it comes to the UCI world championship individual time trial, even the slightest aero advantage can make a difference, which is likely why Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel adopted a trick we’ve started to see on a regular basis with the triathlon’s top pros: he stuffed a water bottle down his skin suit.
Who knows if the water bottle was the difference, but Evenepoel became the first Belgian to win an elite time trial world championship, finishing 12 seconds ahead of two-time world champ Filippo Ganna by 12 seconds. Great Britain’s Joshua Tarling took third, 48 seconds behind the Belgian champ. (Canada’s Derek Gee finished in 18th, 2:57 back, with Nick Zukowsky taking 45th, 6:50 behind.) Evenepoel finished the 47.8 km course in 55:19 – an average of 51.84 kph.
Iden blasts to Kona win
We couldn’t figure out why Gustav Iden seemed to be carrying a water bottle down the front of his suit at last year’s Ironman world championship, but it obviously didn’t hurt his record-setting performance for the day. Jim Manton from ERO Sports in California. Manton posted this video outlining the benefits he was able to find when he tested a group of athletes who tried a variety of different size bottles down their trisuits.
Iden is now just one of many pros who are adopting the technique – at last weekend’s Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) US Open many of the pros were using either a water bottle or a Camelback bladder down their tops to gain an aerodynamic advantage.
Frank Schleck’s Camelback
Before triathletes get too smug about all this and head off to the bike store to rail against the roadies stealing another great idea, there is some cycling history to the trend. In 2011 Luxembourg’s Frank Schleck strapped a Camelback hydration bladder under his skin suit for the final time trial at the Criterium International. His 12th-place finish was enough to earn him the overall win, but the UCI…