Just as we have done before at some other races, we're going to be taking a slightly closer look at some of the equipment used at the 2012 edition of the 70.3 World Championship race in Las Vegas.
This is a very interesting time for those of us who have been observing pro bike setups. And for me, the big news has to do with hydration. It seems that more and more pros are turning away from the traditional aerodrink-type bottles that dominated the field for a solid decade, and are moving towards the BTA-type setups that we love to recommend. A simple Between-The-Arms bottle is more elegant, more useful, and far more aerodynamic than a traditional aerodrink, and has virtually no disadvantages.
(But let me be clear. Not all aerodrink-type bottles are bad. I've specifically applauded the TorHans bottle, for being a much better-thought-out take on the traditional solution. And while I personally continue to use BTA-type setups (either a standard bottle or the A2), I think TorHans has put together a great case that their solution is actually fast, and potentially just as fast as a good BTA setup.)
I estimate that more than half of the pros in the field were using some kind of BTA setup (or a TorHans). That's an impressive figure! It means pros are getting smarter, but it also means it's getting tougher for them to gain equipment-related advantages over their rivals. As a gear junkie, I think that on balance things are getting better. I like to see the field adopting smart solutions, because it makes room for even smarter ones in the future.
But water is just one of the stories here. There was a whole lot of excellent, high-end equipment to look at in the sand. Have a close look at the captions in the gallery below, where we take a look at plenty of front ends, wheelsets, helmets, and more. And if you haven't seen it, have a look at our supersized race-day gallery.