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Bike swap mid-stage

Old 01-28-21, 01:47 PM
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_ForceD_
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Bike swap mid-stage

I was watching a rerun of some of the 2020 Vuelta the other night (on the Olympic channel I think). I didnít watch much of it live back in Oct. They were showing stage 13 which was an ITT on a 33k course...with a Cat 3 climb for the last 2-3 miles to the finish. At the base of the mountain they had a designated exchange zone in which riders were switching from the TT bike to standard road bikes for the climb. I understand the necessity for the switch...but in all my years of watching stage races...I donít think Iíve ever seen that. Is that something thatís done often?

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Old 01-28-21, 04:12 PM
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I don't remember if I've seen it before with my own eyes, but I think it's been done for other time trials where there was an unusually steep climb and it was expected many would be changing bikes. I don't think any of the the three grand tours have had a hill like that on a TT stage in the last five years or any memory of mine further back.

I think it's better that everyone know where chaos might be happening. Helps keep the rider closing from behind crashing because the rider he was closing on decided to change bikes where it wouldn't be expected.
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Old 01-28-21, 07:30 PM
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I thought it was a really good idea by the organizers, for a stage where most riders would be swapping. The teams had an incentive to use the bike swap area, since they didn't need to remove the bike from the car. It made it much easier for the commissars to set guidelines on how much a push you could give.
It also meant that the swap area could be wider and a better place to swap safely. The teams got the benefit of a faster swap.
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Old 01-29-21, 01:34 PM
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I've been watching pro cycling for many years and I've never seen it before. As for other tours, the TdF had a time trial up Alpe d'huez one year, but there wasn't a flat run up to it necessitating a bike change.
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Old 01-31-21, 08:50 AM
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In the last TdF there was also a bike swap. Both Pogacar and Roglic changed bikes at the foot of the hill. Legendery TT-tdf edition!
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Old 01-31-21, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by .joeri. View Post
In the last TdF there was also a bike swap. Both Pogacar and Roglic changed bikes at the foot of the hill. Legendery TT-tdf edition!
Iíve seen individual riders swap from/to bikes more conducive to the terrain ahead of them. But usually just a rider here or there, and no designated exchange zone. In this case, a ITT in the Vuelta, every rider was changing bikes, and there was s designated exchange zone marked with banners, and lines painted on the road. Once on the new bike, they could be pushed only to the end of the zone and no farther (otherwise a time penalty would be awarded I guess).

Dan
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Old 01-31-21, 12:29 PM
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That last bit of the TT averaged 14% grade with a portion over 16%. It was a special thing you rarely see in TT's on grand tours or regular tours. I don't know when the last time a TT on a tour had that steep a segment, if they ever have before.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race...today/profiles

But not everyone changed bikes. There still is a big performance penalty that must be overcome when changing a bike. And with newer derailleurs handling a wider range of gearing, it's becoming more easier for even a TT bike to do climbs.

I marvel now how people now even think it strange for a bike change on a regular stage when 15 or more years ago it was not an unusual thing to change bikes after being in the flats for the first part of a stage then use another on the mountain part of the same stage. Modern group sets have eliminated the need for a regular stage.
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