Matej Mohorič has ditched the dropper post that helped him win Milan-San Remo – and break the internet – switching back to a more familiar set-up for the Flemish cobbled Classics.
The Slovenian champion arrived at the start of E3 Saxo Bank Classic on Friday morning equipped with a Merida Reacto aero bike painted in the colours of the Slovenian flag.
The dropper post gave Mohorič a crucial advantage when it came to the technical and crucial descent of the Poggio at the end of Milan-San Remo. He crossed the finish line pointing to it and rhapsodised about its use to press and television cameras afterwards.
But for the shorter downhills in the Flemish Ardennes, the benefits afforded by a dropper post would not make it worth the associated penalty of weight, aerodynamics, and mechanical complexity.
While most riders used wind-cheating aero frames at Milan-San Remo, Mohorič chose to use the Merida Scultura Team – a lightweight climbing bike painted in standard team-issue colours. It was the only bike with a seat tube of the right shape to house his dropper post.
His tech hacks didn’t stop there though, as Cyclingnews later uncovered, he also ran enlarged disc brake rotors, adapting his forks to allow a 180mm rotor to fit the front wheel.
For now, in the cobbled races of northern Belgium, Mohorič is racing on his familiar Reacto, the aero frame from Merida. His seatpost is the proprietary S-Flex post that comes with the Reacto, and even though the forks could house a 180mm rotor, he’s reverted to running a 160mm rotor at the front with a 140mm at the rear.
The rest of his bike is as we’ve come to expect from the Bahrain Victorious team in the 2022 season. Mohoric is running the new 12-speed R9200 Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, although, like many in the peloton at the moment, he’s still using the older R9100 cranks due to supply issues from sponsor Shimano.
His wheels are the 60mm deep Metron tubeless wheels courtesy of sponsor Vision, and they are shod with the newest Continental GP5000 S TR tyres – the same tyres that teammate Sonny Colbrelli rode to Paris-Roubaix victory in October.
Upfront, a white Vision Metron one-piece cockpit routes brake hoses internally, keeping them out of the wind for extra aerodynamic gain, as has become en vogue in bike design over recent years. Completing the spec list is a Prologo Scratch M5 PAS saddle.
The only tech hack on show comes courtesy of grip tape wrapped around his Elite Leggero Carbon bottle cages to help keep bottles in situ over the cobbled terrain. Although this is far from groundbreaking, it is common practice in the Flemish Classics.
As part of the Slovenian design of the frame, Mohorič’s name adorns the top tube, a Slovenian flag lives on the seat tube and seat stays, and a homage to the Slovenian national championship is positioned on the non-driveside chainstay, denoting the race, the location and the date of Mohorič’s title-winning race.
Mohorič, a national champion and now a Monument winner, is turning his attention to the cobbled Classics as he chases further success. After the E3 Saxo Bank Classic , he will ride Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, Dwars door Vlaanderen next Wednesday, and the Tour of Flanders on Sunday.
He’ll also be in action at the Ardennes Classics and Paris-Roubaix later in April, and Cyclingnews understands there will be more secret bike innovations to come.