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By Matt Pacocha
Shimano’s electric time-trial shifters made their racing debut on Tuesday during the stage-4 individual time trial in Cholet.
Ever since the “E-Dura-Ace” group showed up three years ago there was speculation that it might become a powerful time-trial tool. The system can be routed internally through a radically shaped time trial bike without hampering shifting performance. And the time-trial version sports shift buttons in both bar-ends and brake levers, which means a rider can shift regardless of whether he’s on the aero bars or the bullhorns.
Gerolsteiner got the components on the first day of the Tour and fitted them to Sebastian Lang’s Wasler time-trial bike. The battery pack was mounted on the down tube and the wires neatly taped to the frame for an extremely clean look.
There was one minor snag — Gerolsteiner’s wrenches had to modify Lang’s Pro aero bars after his reconnaissance of the course. The shifters added roughly 5 centimeters to the aero extensions and Lang decided the bars were too long as a consequence.