We caught up with Sunweb’s American sprint power house Coryn Rivera on the day before the race to get a close look at her Liv Envie set up to race the Belgian classic Tour of Flanders. While in years past the Spring Classics were the land of ultra customized road bikes, now with a bit more space for wider tires to smooth out the cobbles a bit, a number of riders are racing on bikes that are little different than what you can buy at your local shop. Coryn’s bike is a good example of that, and while there isn’t a lot of customization going on, when talking with her team mechanic Simon Foster-Moan, it’s all about the attention to the fine details…
The team calls Coryn Rivera ‘small but mighty’ and she gets a small and stiff Liv Envie aero road machine to match. Even with the XS frame she doesn’t need a lot of seatpost showing when you consider the bike’s sloping geometry, and is flexible enough for a pretty low and stretched position on the bike. Even with the tiny frame, it still takes sliding her Liv Contact SL Forward saddle almost all the way forward on its metal rails and the zero offset post to get her fit dialed in (and a saddle position almost lined up with the bottom bracket.)
Out back her drivetrain is a bit unique as well. An Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur with its medium cage length swaps in with the other wise Dura-Ace 9000 components to allow her to run the wider gearing range of an 11-32 Ultegra cassette. Up front she sticks with Dura-Ace crank with road standard 53-39 rings and a Pioneer power meter to keep track of her killer sprint. Classic aluminum Elite Ciussi cages hold her bottles tight even across the cobbles (and claim more pro wins then any other cage.)
Coryn’s cockpit is pretty straightforward Contact SL alloy kit from bike sponsor Giant, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 levers. It’s always nice to see pro mechanics sweating the details, and Simon does it right with a cleanly secured loop in the Di2 wiring just as you should to keep from accidentally pulling the plug out of your shifter with a thumb while levering hard on the bars on those steep climbs. Not doing so has certainly been the cause of some frustration in the men’s peloton by some of the world’s top riders. Of course I got to catch a glimpse of the setup as Sunweb bikes were getting fresh bartape for Sunday’s Classic.
I’ll still say the Coryn Rivera is in the slam that stem club. She couldn’t get low enough with the more stiff bulky carbon ‘sprinter’ stems, but instead opts for a -20° Contact SL to get down. That works well with a team special Fouriers headset topcap that is effectively flat with a tiny built-in 2mm spacer for the 1.25″ Overdrive2 headset on the Liv. Fouriers also provides the team with low profile, out front style alloy GPS mounts. The Sunweb bikes also all got nice clean wire routing thanks to a section of heatshrink tubing to tack the Di2 wire along with the rear brake housing.
Out back you can see where every Sunweb bike also got brake wires meticulously cut to the exact length, measured each time. (No detail too small to be left unchecked.) And since Rivera likes her race number as low as possible, Simon shapes it neatly around the integrated seatpost clamp so that it sits just a few millimeters above the tire. The way he says it, when his team of riders see that level of attention to detail even on the race number, they know everything else has been taken care of. Then they can just focus on racing.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to keep all of your kit organized like the pros. Sure those custom Sunweb kit bags don’t come cheap, and embroidered name tags are a nice touch. But those tall bags, those are straight from IKEA. They stack well, can pack in a lot of race gear, and keep some order in the chaos of travelling to and from races.
Lastly, the key to a pro bike are clean shiny tubulars. Sunweb, like many of the other pro teams at the Classics, are racing on Vittoria’s excellent, grippy Graphene+ infused Corsa tubulars in 25mm width glued up to Giant SLR Carbon Aero wheels. Again Rivera’s mechanic puts the time in to make sure the bikes always have clean tires. That sometimes means just keeping them wiped down before and after every race. But with a lot of wheels and riders, there is a healthy dose of tubular glue always at the ready to glue up a new set of sew-ups.