In my newly-made-up war of the bike brands, the day’s results make it one apiece between Specialized and Cervélo, who sponsor SD Worx and Team Jumbo Visma respectively, with SRAM enjoying a double win, finishing the day two-nil up in the also-made-up battle of the groupsets.
Cyclingnews is on the ground at Opening Weekend in Belgium, and after some sweet talking and light cajoling, I managed to get up close with both of the winners’ bikes.
The fruits of that very labour can be found below, but please forgive the position of the cranks, valves, and in Van Baarle’s case, the entire bike. Mechanics don’t particularly like us touching the bikes, so we’re at their whim with how well they’re presented.
Lotte Kopecky’s S-Works Tarmac SL7
My psychic powers were clearly in decent form on Saturday morning ahead of the race. With all of the SD Worx bikes to choose from, I opted for this very one. I then had more time with it at the finish where it was, uh, exactly the same save for a light dusting of Flandrian earth and as UCI doping control tag.
Dylan van Baarle’s Cervélo S5
Unfortunately, my psychic powers were nowhere to be seen at the start of the men’s race just hours earlier.
So as a result, I was forced to wait – in a courtyard situated tantalisingly close to a van selling frites – while the UCI commissaires did their thing with their magic iPads to confirm that Van Baarle’s bike wasn’t in fact a motorbike.
Once cleared, it was ridden back to the team bus, by the team’s bus driver no less, and dumped somewhat hastily, as shown below.
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