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Greg Henderson launches his Kiwi Olympic bike
July 21st, 12. In one week tomorrow, Greg Henderson will line up at the Olympic road race. Today at the Tour de France he had his first ride on his Lotto Belisol team issued Kiwi Olympic bike.
While the bike is not a new model, the custom painted 'Ridley Noah Fast' frame and its Kiwi paint job was on the road for the first time to check everything was perfect before the Olympic event.
"We are trying the new bike because we won't have a chance before the (Olympic) road race," Henderson said before the Stage 18 start.
Today's stage was one of the longer days of the Tour and similar in distance, but not terrain, to what he will face in London.
Henderson was not expecting today's stage to be one for Lotto Bellisol and their sprint train - the team are saving their legs for the Paris finale - but instead it was a day to get used to the new bike.
"It's time in the saddle. It's going to be six hours or so, you can get a good feel of the bike in this time." he said.
Henderson's new bike includes an "NZL" insignia on the top tube and seat tube, and a Kiwi flag on both locations. His name is also painted on the seat tube.
Hopefully this will give him great moviation for the upcoming Champs Elysees sprint and the Olympic road race on the 28th of July.
So how did the Kiwi bike go? Good - but he almost crashed it"The good thing about the bike is I couldn't notice a difference which ultimately is a very good thing," Henderson told RoadCycling.co.nz after today's stage.
The Kiwi did have one hairy moment on his new bike today though ...
"I did try and shove it through a Team Europcar rear windscreen today in the neutral section.
"I was coming back from a pee stop and all the cars stopped in a roundabout. I locked on my anchors but I couldn't stop in time," he shared.
"I hooked hard left and skidded sideways into the rear of the car, but just as I hit it I managed to jump my body and bike around the rear corner, fended and balanced with my right hand on car to keep myself up.
"I actually was really lucky.
"The director of the car popped his head out the window and said 'chapeau' and even the crowd on the roundabout applauded me. Hahaha. I remember shaking my head thinking how did I stay up?! Then I thought - Jonah Lomu would be proud of that fend."
Hendy's new bike
Teammate turns rival
Greg Henderson is used to having Andre Greipel on his wheel at the end of a sprint, but come London the Kiwi hopes the German will stay on his wheel until after the finish line. At the Olympics the allies turn rivals - here is Greipel's Olympic bike ..
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