The most important races of the season are here. And also the most spectacular, the most demanding. The ones that demonstrate the reliability and performance of the material used by the EOLO KOMETA riders. A mixture of quality, efficiency and above all, details that make the difference.
The team will be using Vittoria Corsa tyre technology this Saturday at the Strade Bianche. We spoke with the head of mechanics Ivan Moya, who reveals some details about the importance of the tubular in a race like this.
What does the quality of the Vittoria Corsa bring to a race like Strade Bianche?
Using what are considered the best tubulars on the market in a complicated and difficult race gives you peace of mind, especially when we talk about punctures. The reliability is very high and that gives us a lot of guarantees so that both the mechanics and the cyclists can worry about other aspects, but we can trust that the Vittoria Corsa will do their part of the job perfectly.
What is special about the work of the mechanics in the Strade Bianche?
It is the race where our AURUMs are going to have the most stress. It is the most demanding race on our calendar. We are going to pay the same attention as always, but here the screws, the vibrations, will always be bigger. Especially at critical points such as the change from asphalt to ‘sterrato’, the possible mobility of the handlebars or the levers, these are things we have to keep an eye on. Sometimes we opt for an even higher setting than in other tests to try to mitigate these potential problems.
For example, normally the levers, at the moment of a fall, we want them to move so as not to break them. But here, we can’t have that margin because they could move due to vibrations, and the tightening is harder, also the tightening of the stem.
How does the tyre respond to changing terrain? Asphalt, dirt…
The Vittoria Corsa has a very marked tread pattern and that’s why they are so good on water. But the great performance also extends to ‘sterrato’, where the grip is better than on a slick tyre and the performance is much better. The small lines we see on the tyre make the difference.
What we do do at Strade Bianche is to go for a different width. Instead of 26 inches, we use 28 inches. This way, as it is bigger, we can lower the pressure without fear of punctures. This way we achieve greater comfort, and for a race in which fatigue accumulates due to the hardness and in the final climb on the ascent to Siena can make the difference in order to have the necessary strength.
The importance of not suffering punctures: how does Vittoria give confidence with its product in this respect?
It is very important in a race like Strade Bianche to try to reduce the number of breakdowns as much as possible. The line of cars is very tight, the dust makes it hard to see anything, it’s difficult to overtake… By the time the car arrives, it’s too late. Here it is important to help each other, or to place auxiliary staff with wheels at strategic points.
Strade Bianche is a race where you compete with particular pressures. What approximate pressure can the tubulars lose during the race and what is the optimum pressure to reach the finish?
In Strade Bianche we race with a lower pressure in our Vittoria Corsa. It is something that needs to be studied and depends on many factors. During the training camp, we carry out several tests to calculate the pressure loss in use and not in use. This means that from the moment the tyre is inflated until the race, we can quantify how much pressure the tubular loses. Then in the race there is also a loss depending on the ambient temperature. We have also tested the weight of 5 different cyclists.
Generally speaking, after four hours of racing the Vittoria Corsa would lose 1 kg of pressure. So, if we want a rider to compete in the race, he has to reach the final part, the climb to Siena, with the optimum pressure, taking into account this loss. But if the rider is going to look for the breakaway, then we will try to make sure that his optimum pressure is in the first kilometres or the first sections of the climb.
The pressures will vary depending on the rider (his weight, height), the role assigned to him by the sport directors, and the weather, asphalt and road conditions on the day of the race.
Will there be assistants or mechanics distributed along the route? At the start of the gravel sections in order to be able to deal with any incidents more quickly.
Like all teams, we will try to have as many helpers as possible in as many areas as possible. We are not a WorldTour team with a huge infrastructure, but we have the guarantee that all of us who are part of the staff in this race will multiply our efforts to help as much as possible to achieve a good sporting result.
With everything ready for the competition, and the guarantee of the work of our mechanics, it’s time to face a Strade Bianche in which our AURUM Bikes will carry the latest technology in tyres. A material on which the cyclists will be able to rely on to try to achieve the best result. All the previous research and the professionalism of the staff has its result in a day that will be exciting. And in which the EOLO KOMETA will be looking for its place.
Using the slogan “The Ride Ahead”, the Vittoria brand has always sought excellence with values such as curiosity, optimism and courage in the most human and sporting side, as well as innovation, sustainability and technical superiority in the performance and qualities of their products. The work of our cyclists and our mechanics is focused on materialising all these principles. To make them a reality. Strade Bianche will be the next opportunity.