Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) The Cervelo P5 of Belgian Frederik Van Lierde is ready to roll. Van Lierde is aboard newly released Mavic rims, featuring a design in which the rim actually covers a portion of the tire’s sidewall in order to smooth airflow. Ovalized chainrings have gained significant traction and Van Lierde has ridden with good success on ones from O Symetric. Electronic Di2 shifting from Shimano rounds out the package. Van Lierde won this race in 2011, and is no doubt hoping 2013 will be a repeat performance. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) Melissa Hauschildt is feared for her running ability, but the Australian is also a threat on the bike, and this Specialized S-WORKS Shiv is her weapon of choice. This bike is a study in reliable cutting-edge technology. She’ll use proven mechanical shifting from American brand SRAM, and opts to race without the feedback of a power meter. Hauschildt is using Specialized’s newest prototype saddle, which features a split-nose design, allowing her to comfortably achieve a powerful aerodynamic position. A Zipp Firecrest 808 and disc rear wheel help to maximize her bike speed. Eneko Llanos (ESP) Eneko Llanos will be tackling Abu Dhabi with electronic shifting from Shimano and a Spanish-designed BH aerodynamic frame. Llanos is one of a growing number of professional athletes that have chosen to ride clincher tires, as indicated by his HED Jet wheels with aluminum braking surface. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) Conrad Stoltz hopes that this Specialized S-WORKS Shiv will provide him the speed on the bike required to emerge victorious at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. The saddle on this bike is actually a prototype from the big S that incorporates the popular split-nosed design. Components from SRAM and a Quarq powermeter will help Stoltz tackle the bike course, which often features unforgiving heat and wind. Bart Aernouts (BEL) Belgian Bart Aernouts will ride this marvel of Swiss engineering at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this weekend. Aeronouts has opted for deep-dish wheels from Easton front and back, presumably hoping forgoing a disc wheel in the rear might help him in a race where gusty wind conditions are often prevalent. An SRM power meter will help him manage his effort on the bike, and Shimano Di2 components will take care of shifting duties. Caroline Steffen (SUI) This is the Cervelo P5 of Caroline Steffen. This example is outfitted with components from legendary Italian brand Campagnolo, including their wind-cheating Bora wheels front and rear. Steffen has opted for the ‘3’ version of the P5, which eschews the brake shroud that covers the front caliper on the ‘6’ version. A Cobb saddle helps keep Steffen comfortable. An XLAB Stealth Pocket is cleanly mounted to the top tube, and will provide easy access to nutrition while also improving aerodynamics. Tenille Hoogland (CAN) The Specialized S-WORKS Shiv of professional triathlete Tenille Hoogland is ready to go. An SRM power meter allows Hoogland to measure her effort, and SRAM Red components manage shifting duty. The integrated water bladder of the Shiv allows of plenty of on-board hydration, which will be much needed in the hot desert air of the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. A slightly shallower Zipp 404 Firecrest front wheel will provide good aerodynamics while being slightly more forgiving in the often-windy conditions. Magnus Backstedt (SWE) This is the custom Wyndy Milla bike of former Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt. Backstedt is someone who knows a thing or two about riding a bicycle fast, and he has chosen mechanical Shimano Dura Ace shifting and O Symetric chainrings for the task of tacking the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. Deep dish Reynolds carbon wheels will help him in terms of aerodynamics, and he’s obviously betting on windy conditions with his choice to forgo a disc rear wheel. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) The Cannondale Slice of Michelle Vesterby relies on Shimano’s electronic Di2 groupset to provide fast and reliable shifting. An SRM power meter is the gold standard in providing an athlete’s on-bike power data, and the popular Fizik Arione Tri2 saddle is a comfortable perch for a fast ride through the hot desert. A Shimano C75 deep-dish front wheel and PRO disc help Vesterby achieve maximum aerodynamics.
Photos: Paul Phillips
Captions: Geoffrey Nenninger
Get the first look at nine of the bikes that will line up for Saturday’s Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.