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This is Tim Merlier’s race bike for the World Championships. I tried to get hold of Wout’s ride, but he appeared to be making his preparations behind closed doors, so it wasn’t to be unfortunately. The mechanic assured me the bikes were identical, but for a few differences I’ll point out.
Big fat naked carbon weave for all the Crelan Team bikes. A blank canvas is great for making those graphics really pop so they can be seen on telly.

Popping graphics under the downtube. It costs £$€ to get this stuff to the highest level, you gotta trowel it on.

Graphics everywhere. The Crelan mechanic is the kind of guy you want looking after your bikes. Those cranks and wheels didn’t line up by accident.

As with Corne van Kessel’s bike we looked at before, Tim was running Dugast Typhoons in the morning but switched them for Rhinos when the course got sloppy. A vital difference between this and Wout’s bike were the tyres. Wout was running a Dugast carcass with an old Michelin Mud (remember those frog green guys from 2002?) tread, a race winning decision as it turned out.

This guy is a neat little touch and a symbol for how much the USA is moving into the heart of cyclocross. A Belgian World Champion running American tech would have seemed unlikely not so many years ago.

Perhaps loads of riders are running TIME pedals, but I haven’t noticed them. Wout, for the record uses Speedplay Syzrs on his Felt.
TeXtreme Carbon is Felt’s highest and most high tech standard construction and is probably shrouded in secrecy. I think the general idea though, is TeXtreme Carbon is gooder carbon.

Look closely, the spacers on all three bikes are bang on lined up. Three perfectly identical bikes, eliminating the sensation of having A and B bikes. (Tyre choice aside, I’m covering my back here, Twitter warriors are sharpening their nerdy claws as I type) I wonder if this guy would like to come and look after my kit?


Mechanical 1×11 SRAM Force on Tim Merlier’s bike. Though they seem to have it dialed now, Wout is running Red eTap, with varying levels of success this season.


A neat little solution for cable routing.


Tim Merlier rode this bike to 12th place at the worlds on Sunday. SRAM Force discs on Zipp 303s.