The riders that are focussing on the these races convened in Belgium yesterday to test out their new Giant Defy Advanced SL bikes on the cobbles, and to also experiment as to what pressures suit the new Vittoria tyres that the team will be using for the cobbled races.
Representatives from Vittoria, Shimano and Giant were present, along with Team Giant-Shimano coaches and experts including Technical Research and Development Expert, Tom Davids (NED), trainer, Adriaan Helmantel (NED) and coach, Marc Reef (NED). This meant that the riders could feedback to both the team’s experts but also to the people behind the equipment itself.
Tom Davids, said: “It has been a great couple of days of testing and getting the riders reacquainted with the race routes. We have been testing out new 25mm and 27mm Vittoria tyres and testing different pressures for these to get optimum performance on race day. We have also been fine tuning positions on their new Giant bikes that they will be using for these races.
“Yesterday we had really nice weather and the roads were dry, then today the cobbles were damp which was a good comparison for the riders to get a feel for the tyres.”
“Yesterday we rode the Het Nieuwsblad route and today we are heading for the Flanders route to get the guys accustomed to their kit and riding on the cobbles,” said coach Marc Reef. “Everyone has found a good position on their bikes and are pleased with the performance of the new tyres.”
The first race in northern Europe for Team Giant-Shimano will be the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, on Saturday 1st March.