It took Bert Grabsch less than an hour to achieve the win of a lifetime at the World Championships last month. But the 52 minutes and 1 second Grabsch spent on the rolling 43.7-kilometer time trial course in Varese, Italy (also known as ITA) Flag of Italy, represented years of hard work. Countless hours of training. Sacrifice and suffering.

It’s often said that the individual time trial is the race of truth, a raw challenge with nowhere to hide. And it’s true that Grabsch, a 33-year-old German on the Giant-sponsored Team Columbia squad, won the title on his own. He had no teammates to shield him from the wind. There was no sitting in.

But there’s much more to this story. Grabsch, who knows what it feels like to be a tireless teammate in the shadows of the stars, is quick to point out that he was hardly alone that day. In fact, he was backed by a dedicated team of designers, engineers and athletes with the single-minded obsession to have the world’s fastest bike. Grabsch’s win was the exclamation point to a grand plan.

The prototype Giant Bicycles time trial bike that Grabsch rode to gold is the result of a simple challenge issued by Team Columbia director Bob Stapleton less than a year ago: Build the world’s fastest time trial bike. Forget about the competition, start from scratch, create something new.

“This project started with two guiding principles,” said Dennis Lane, Giant’s global product development manager. “One, the bike would be built solely for function, without concern about design aesthetics. And two, it has to be approved by the UCI, the world governing body of competitive cycling. These two principles served the end goal of providing Team Columbia riders the tools to win the most important races in the world.”

A team that included engineers from Giant headquarters in Taiwan (also known as TPE) Flag of Chinese Taipei for Olympic games, Team Columbia technical manager Lars Teutenberg, Giant team technical manager Andy Wollny and aerodynamics engineer Simon Smart spent months developing the concept for a radical new bike design. After exhaustive analysis of computerized data, the first physical model was constructed and taken to a wind tunnel in Southampton, England. The plastic mock-up frame resembled a LEGO project, with interchangeable segments that could be swapped to determine which frame and component combinations provided optimal aerodynamic function.

Once the ideal aerodynamic design was identified, the first prototype frame was constructed and taken to a wind-tunnel in Germany (also known as GER) Flag of Germany to fine-tune efficiency and rider positioning.

In late June, 2008, Grabsch was one of the first Team Columbia riders to race the new Giant bike at the German Time Trial Championships. He captured the national title, confirming that Giant’s newest creation was ready for its global debut at the Tour de France the following week.

Giant delivered four new TT bikes to Team Columbia for the world’s most important race, and as the public got its first real look at the radical new machine it was clear that this was more than just a redesigned frameset. The entire bike, including the stem, handlebar, seatpost and even the brakes, were purposefully crafted to cheat the wind and shave seconds off the clock.

That’s just what Columbia’s general classification leader Kim Kirchen did at the Tour, piloting the new Giant to second- and third-place finishes in the Tour’s two time trials. Since then, the bike has been ridden by Giant-sponsored athletes in the Olympics, major professional stage races and triathlons.

And now, thanks to the vision of Giant and the drive of Bert Grabsch, there’s no disputing it: Giant has built the world’s fastest bike.


Template:Infobox Cyclist Template:MedalTableTop Template:MedalCountry Template:MedalSport Template:MedalCompetition Template:MedalGold Template:MedalBottom Bert Grabsch (born June 19, 1975 in Wittenberg) is a German road bicycle racer racing for UCI ProTour squad Team Columbia and is the reigning Time Trial World Champion. He is the younger brother of fellow road racing cyclist Ralf Grabsch, and the current UCI World time trial champion, having won the title in Varese, Italy on September 25th 2008.

Palmares Edit

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Stage 4, Regio Tour
Stage 5, Regio Tour
Hel van het Mergelland
Stage 5, Niedersachsen Rundfahrt
Stage 2, Tour de Wallonie
Stage 1, Vuelta a Burgos
Rund um die Hainleite
Germany (also known as GER) Flag of Germany National Time Trial Champion
Stage 8, Vuelta a España
Germany (also known as GER) Flag of Germany National Time Trial Champion
Sachsen-Tour and 4th stage
6th stage, Tour of Austria
Gold Medal, Jersey rainbow UCI Road World Championships Time Trial

Template:Palmares end

Participations in the Tour de France Edit

Teams Edit

  • 1998 - Agro-Adler-Brandenburg
  • 1999 - Team Cologne
  • 2000 - Team Cologne
  • 2001 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2002 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2003 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2004 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2005 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2006 - Phonak Hearing Systems
  • 2007 - T-Mobile Team
  • 2008 - Team Columbia

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