3T has just announced that the Irish based Aqua Blue Sport team will race their 3T Strada in the pro conti ranks in 2018.
The Strada is Gerard Vroomen's latest creation, a frame integrating innovative features that will surprise many racing purists. The striking aero profile, single chainring, disc brakes and wide rubber has won awards recently at Eurobike and will continue to open eyes wherever it's seen.
Rick Delaney, Team Owner, said that the concept of 3T’s revolutionary platform was the key to the decision in selecting the bike. Rick said: “We at Aqua Blue Sport are very much attracted to innovation and people who are moving cycling forward. What Gerard Vroomen and 3T have designed is truly a step forward bicycle design. We are delighted to bring this bike to the professional ranks and ride it in the world’s biggest events.”
This marriage of the world’s most innovative bikes and some of the world’s best cyclists is not just about competition; Aqua Blue Sport will also become an official 3T on line partner. They will be selling the team bikes, the standard STRADA, the EXPLORO and all other 3T products on www.aquabluesport.com, the online bicycle marketplace for retailers and brands that directly funds the team.
The selection process began with riders testing the STRADA to its limits. The culmination of the testing regime came at a camp in the South of France. 3T engineers met with riders and technological staff and following this the decision was taken to adopt the STRADA as the road bike for 2018.
Gerard Vroomen, (perhaps previously best known as being co-founder of Cervelo )is now 3T’s co-owner and head of design, said he is looking forward to building an innovative and long-lasting relationship with Aqua Blue Sport. He said: “Aqua Blue Sport is doing something different and that is exciting. We watched Aqua Blue Sport’s successes on the roads with victories at the US National Championships, the Tour of Austria and La Vuelta.”
“Even more importantly, they recognize that the pro-cycling business model has to change and their innovative new funding model is a great idea. Taking all of this together, we felt that this was something we really wanted to get involved in. We are very excited to supply 3T frames and parts and help Rick and his whole team to continue to make their project grow into an even bigger success.”
For 3T co-owner and CEO Rene Wiertz the new relationship is a clear commitment to a long-term goal of future growth. “It’s a testament to the forward-thinking vision of the Aqua Blue Sport project, its staff and riders that they have chosen the STRADA to race on. We’re excited to work together with them in the coming years.” 3T will create an Aqua Blue Sport Edition STRADA for the team that will debut at the start of the season in January 2018. Aqua Blue Sport will announce additional component partnerships in the coming weeks.
There are few game changing product developments in road race bikes these days. Yes aero profiles, hydraulics, disc brakes, wifi electronics and wider rubber is emerging. None of this is really new; the technologies are being adapted in the race bike world, just usually not all at once.
And in the conservative and justifiably risk averse world of pro racing, breaking convention is difficult in terms of service vehicles and compatible spares...a mechanical failure or crash requiring spares may spell disaster.
Will this be the first of a new breed of minimalist, high performance but simplified race machines?
Echelon Sports will be ranging the new Strada as well as 3T's aero gravel bike the Exploro with stock available in Decemebr '17