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Tour de France Meets Trials Riding

At the Tour de France route presentation in Paris yesterday, reigning champ Bradley Wiggins surprised the pundits when he said he would likely forgo his title defense at the Grand Boucle next year and instead aim his Pinarello at a Giro d'Italia title. Meanwhile, another famous British cyclist, trials specialist Martyn Ashton, has found an even less likely use for the 2012 Tour-winning bike.

In his latest trials video, Ashton takes on skate parks, scree fields, six-foot drops, and even an abandoned airplane aboard a Pinarello Dogma 2, the same bike that Wiggins used to capture his first Tour title. In and of themselves, the stunts aren't any more or less impressive than what we've come to expect from trials wunderkind Danny Macaskill. But the fact that Ashton pulls them all on 25mm tires impresses us almost as much as, well ... Wiggins' Tour victory.

Ashton must have shredded countless bikes and wheels making this one, right? "I only had the one bike and thankfully it survived the few minor crashes," the Brit told us. "I'm pleased because it would be a real shame to break a bike so beautiful." He added that he used only one set of wheels for the shoot, a pair of 50mm aero Hope Pro 3 RS-SP Carbon hoops. Even the Continental tires he chose held up surprisingly well, with just a single flat from "too many skids."

It isn't the first time we've seen road bikes (ab)used for stunts, nor is it even Ashton's first foray into doing tricks on skinny tires. As to why he's chosen to trial on a pinner, the self-deprecating Brit says simply: "It's a great challenge to ride a road bike this way. The technical issue of pushing yourself but maintaining the bike's safety is a fine line and good fun to explore."

Ashton makes it sound so logical and look so effortless (though he at least proves himself human in the outtakes) that he seems due for a new challenge. So we were thinking, Martyn: how about doing the next one on Wiggins' TT bike, the Graal?

—Aaron Gulley

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