Jamie Green and Tom Clarkson test ride the Audi Sport Racing Bike
Cycling plays an important part in the fitness regimes of many professional racing drivers, and none more so than Audi DTM driver Jamie Green. ‘I love bikes,’ he says. ‘I love the fitness benefits of riding, but I also like them as pieces of technology. A good bike fascinates me, and they don’t get much better than the Audi Sport Racing Bike.’
Produced as a limited run of just 50 and priced at £13,608 (subject to exchange rates), the Audi Sport Racing Bike tips the scales at a featherweight 5.8kg – yet it retains unmatched levels of rigidity thanks to its carbon-fibre construction. ‘It’s light, stiff and responsive, and the gears are super-precise. Nothing like as clunky as the ones that you get on a normal bike.’
The secret behind the bike’s smooth gear changes lies in the innovative electronic gearshift, activated on the handlebars with the push of a button. This technology draws inspiration from Audi Sport’s extensive DTM and sports car programmes.
We approach the stunning Col de la Madone from the town of Menton, close to the French-Italian border. As you start the climb, your legs begin to burn – unless they’re made of steel, as Jamie’s appear to be (although he’s no doubt being helped a little by the strengths of the Audi bike).
He’s clearly capable of going faster, but holding back out of politeness. Then, just as we approach the steepest section of the ascent, he starts to push, clicks up a couple of gears, and a gap instantly appears between us.
‘When I pull on the handlebars,’ he says, after slowing and dropping back alongside me, ‘I can feel the power being transferred straight through the rear wheel. There’s no wastage – and I guess that sums up this bike the best. It’s a beautiful piece of kit and there’s no wastage – with anything.’ A finer set of wheels would be hard to find anywhere in the world.
Written by Tom Clarkson. Photographs by Alexander Rhind.