Britain's Sir Bradley Wiggins has hailed the development of a new bicycle specifically designed for tough terrains as "game-changing" for the sport ahead of the Tour of Flanders, due to begin in Belgium tomorrow.
The Pinarello DOGMA K8-S bike, co-engineered for Team Sky by Jaguar and bicycle manufacturing experts Pinarello, is the first to be made especially for difficult terrain and features a lightweight suspension system alongside flat carbon chain stays which the designers claim will provide better ride comfort.
Sir Bradley, the Olympic and world time trial champion and winner of the 2012 Tour de France, claims the new bicycle will be of great help to him and his teammates as the races begin to come thick and fast.
"The bike looks as good as the DOGMA F8, and from the moment you get on it, you realise the difference straight away, especially on the cobbles," he said.
"I've never ridden anything like it on cobbles before, which is the most extreme terrain you can ride a bike on.
"The way it feels, its aerodynamics, stiffness, and improved flex in the rear, is game-changing for cycling."
Sir Bradley added: "This is the first time anyone has gone out there, looked at the demands of the cobbles, and made a bike specifically for that job.
"The level of innovation and thinking outside the box, largely down to Team Sky and the automotive expertise from Jaguar, is streets ahead of other teams and manufacturers out there."
The DOGMA K8-S has been put through its paces as it has undergone rigourous testing and all eight Team Sky riders, including Geraint Thomas, Salvatore Puccio and Luke Rowe, will ride the bike for the first time during the tricky Tour of Flanders event.
The race itself is one of cycling's "cobbled classics", and Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford hailed the introduction of the DOGMA K8-S.
"We've been able to knit together Pinarello's world-class knowledge in bike design and Jaguar's industry-leading technological and engineering expertise, with a proven winning team of riders and experts in human performance, to come up with something truly ground-breaking," he said.
"It's rare for one small design innovation to make such a large difference but this is one of those situations.
"The Classics have been a big goal for us this season and with Ian Stannard's win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Geraint's win at E3 we've had a great start.
"Anything can happen in these races, which makes them so exciting, but this bike will give us the best possible chance of continuing our success."
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