Time Trial Gear: USA Pro Cycling Challenge
images by Nick Salazar
Sep 4, 2012  hits 243,293

No gallery of TT racing on American soil would be complete without a headline image of Captain America himself, Mr. Dave Zabriskie.
No gallery of TT racing on American soil would be complete without a headline image of Captain America himself, Mr. Dave Zabriskie.

Last weekend, the 2012 edition of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge concluded with an exciting time trial, through the heart of downtown Denver. The stage was crucial for overall winner Christian Vande Velde, who snatched victory from the hands of Levi Leipheimer, who came into the stage in the yellow jersey. Moreover, pro Tour time trial stages are one of the best places to see a whole lot of fantastic bike equipment, and this was no exception. We elected to present this gallery in our high-res 'supersized' format, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!



  • No gallery of TT racing on American soil would be complete without a headline image of Captain America himself, Mr. Dave Zabriskie.
  • Zabriskie was on the brand new Cervelo P5, a stunning machine that I think actually looks better in UCI-legal trim.
  • Captain America sporting a gruff beard.
  • The media just loves Dave, and you can see them trying to get every last ounce of agony on his face as he charged towards the finish line.
  • A pair of Quickstep riders rounding the corner during a warmup lap.
  • Chris Horner warming up on the Denver streets before the race.
  • Looks like Tommy D is finally on the P5! We did a feature on Tom's cleat placement earlier this year, and at the time, he was on a P4, anxiously awaiting this new ride.
  • The Cervelo P5 is beautiful from just about every angle.
  • Quickstep riders are on the Shiv TT.
  • The Cannondale Slice RS, in my opinion, is neither here nor there. It may be very good in the wind tunnel, but it also looks rather complicated to wrench, and offers very limited front-end adjustment. Not to mention it's just not that appealing to me aesthetically, and I despise behind-the-fork brakes.
  • The front end of the Slice RS is a weird Medusa of cables that do keep things tidy, but also introduce some rather sharp bends.
  • Here's a closeup of that routing, which apparently requires Nokon routing to overcome that sharp bend and work properly.
  • That seatpost is quite tiny, and looks somewhat out of place, but is at least aerodynamically shaped. Cannondale claims the small size is quite aero, given that it's very narrow.
  • Now, this part I like. BB30 is a great standard, and Cannondale's Hollowgram cranks are very stiff and light.
  • Behind-the-fork brakes are usually an aerodynamic mess. Granted, this is the best one I've ever seen. Cannondale keeps things as clean as possible by using that weird internal routing through the steerer tube, and avoids a loop of cable hanging out in the wind. Nevertheless, using this brake means Cannondale had to give up the opportunity to tuck the front wheel in nice and close, which most everyone else is finding to be aerodynamically superior (see, for example, the P4, DA, Shiv, Triad SL, etc).
  • A Liquigas mechanic wrenches the bike. Note the downward-pointing R2C shifters, which is an artifact of asinine UCI rules limiting the distance of the shifters from the bottom bracket.
  • The back of the Slice fork shows how that TRP brake works. This is as clean as this brake gets, since Cannondale is runing the cable down the steerer tube. And yet, it still sticks out a bit where that pinch bolt and the cable end grab air. Personally, I think the solution is rather convoluted. It also appears to limit tire selection, and probably won't tolerate anything too large.
  • One great aspect of the Slice RS is its absolutely minimal frontal profile. Other than that pinch bolt and cable end sticking out , it's a rather lean machine. But it does look really funny from the side.
  • Team Champion System had perfect TriRig Orange paint schemes on their Kestrel 4000 bikes, and of course I'm a sucker for anything that color.
  • Cadel Evans warmed up with young gun Tejay Vangarderen
  • Tejay heading out for his warmup.
  • The BMC boys are on the TM01 rig, which is a lovely little machine.
  • Christian Vande Velde out for a warmup on his Cervelo P5.
  • Christian rode hard, and earned the overall victory at the USA Pro Cycing Challenge.
  • Team Exergy rode the Felt DA, and each rider had a different decal on their rear disc, which was pretty cool to see.
  • Here's another Exergy disc, this time in cool blue.
  • Team Bissell on their Pinarello Grall bikes. Wow, there's not a lot that I do like about the Grall. So I'll just leave this alone.
  • Trek is represented this year by team Livestrong as well as Radioshack. It's a great bike, but newcomers to the 'superbike' category offer cutting-edge aerodynamics with a greater ease of service. Bikes like the P5, DA, and Triad SL all lay claim to the idea that bikes can be fast AND easy to wrench.
  • Spider Tech rides the Argon E-118. I'm not a huge fan, especially with tha behind-the-fork brake and its giant loop of exposed cable. But hey, Tim O'Donnell doesn't let that bug him, and keeps winning races on it anyway.
  • If you are prone to seizures, don't look at that disc for too long.
  • Tyler Farrar is better known as a sprinter, still got the privilege of riding a brand new P5, even while some of his teammates were on the P4.
  • The UCI has forced a couple small changes to the Speed Concept. For one, the rubber cable cover is gone, leaving a small length of Di2 cables visible. More significantly, notice that the fork doesn't quite meet the down tube - this is a rolling change that I believe ALL new Speed Concepts have. Only the first two model years have the original fork that completes that shape. It's something Trek hasn't talked about, but it's kindof a bummer to see that happen. If I were shopping for an SC, I'd look for earlier models with the complete fork shape.
  • Who wants it more? I think it's obvious here - one guy came here to throw down, and one guy is on his road bike.
  • Apparently United Healthcare is between bike sponsors, as every rider was on an all-black rig, and not everyone was on the same brand of bike.
  • Optum was on the old Orbea Ordu, despite the fact that the new Ordu Gold was launched on the same day. Orbea would have done well to equip the team with the new bike at launch time, but missed their shot.
  • Big George Hincapie, in his final Time Trial as a pro cyclist. George looks pretty comfortable on that TM01, but then again, George could ride a beach cruiser and look good doing it.
  • Thanks for the ride, George. It was always great to watch you race.
  • Virtually the entire length of the 9-mile TT course was lined with spectators.
  • Another UHC rider, with no bike sponsor. This is Rory Sutherland, wearing the Most Aggressive Rider jersey on the heels of his stage win the day before. He's on a Shiv TT, completely blackened out. Actually, it looks pretty cool that way.
  • Nobody draws cheers like Jens Voight, who charged hard on his Speed Concept.
  • I've gotta say the Shiv TT is a great-looking bike. But that aerobar is an absolute beast to adjust. Want to change your extensions? Not likely gonna happen, unless you can score some very special aluminum hardware from Specialized and have the skill to bond an extension to it.
  • Chris Horner doesn't like the Bontrager aero bottle, saying it's too hard for him to remove from the cage. So he insists on standard round bottles, despite the aero penalty.
  • Even when everything else is a blur, the new Specialized S-Works MacLaren helmet punches through. This one is a leftover from the Olympics, and carries the bright red-orange neon paint.
  • Pete Stetina rocked the P4, and finished the week in 9th overall, which is very impressive considering the domestique work he put in. Stetina basically had to attack every single day to force rival BMC to chase him down, helping to keep his teammate Christian Vande Velde fresh and rested for the selection stages.
  • Andreas Kloden riding the Trek Speed Concept.
  • Tejay Vangarderen is turning into a bit of a superstar, and puts in a solid time trial whatever he's riding. Now that he's on BMC, he gets the very swanky TM01, and got second place on the day.
  • Christian Vande Velde is always a picture of time trialing perfection. Vande Velde won the overall race by putting in a solid time trial performance. It was only third-best on the day, but enough to take the leader's jersey from Levi Leipheimer.
  • Christian's time trial rig is a Cervelo P5, complete with Mavic wheels, a custom Giro helmet not available to consumers (I wish it was!), Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Rotor cranks, Magura brakes, and a Fizik saddle. Beautiful. Of course, in my biased opinion, a TriRig Omega would be an even better front brake.
  • Levi Leipheimer started last, in the leader's jersey, but surrendered the title to Christian Vande Velde.

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