High stakes, high speed battery swap for Sepp Kuss on Giro d'Italia descent - Video
Those of us blessed enough to have electronic shifting have, at one point or another, inevitably had one of those rides where you realise you forgot to recharge your groupset.
For us mere mortals, it normally means an uncomfortable spin home or an embarrassed call for rescue, but the stakes are higher in the Giro d'Italia, and on stage 3 Sepp Kuss risked disaster to keep his bike functioning without the assistance of a mechanic.
Already on his spare bike at the time, on a day where Michael Matthews won a punchy uphill finish, Kuss seemed stuck in the larger sprockets of his rear cassette, only able to spin a tremendous cadence or tuck into an aero position to maintain his speed.
While many riders would have called for assistance from the team car, Kuss took matters into his own hands. Perhaps given that he was already on his spare bike (as evidenced by the lack of a race number) he knew another bike swap was out of the question in the short term, and, reasoning that it may well just be a flat rear battery, he got drastic.
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While remaining legally in contact with the saddle, rather than dropping onto the top tube - which would definitely have made life easier but is now very much banned by the UCI - he reached down and simply ejected the rear battery wholesale.
Sram derailleurs each have an individual battery, rather than a centralised power system as is seen with Campagnolo and Shimano electronic groupsets, so after dumping the power pack from the rear he was amazingly able to pilfer an identical battery from the front, and swap it to the rear, leaving him effectively with a 1X setup.
Ultimately it didn't work, and he was still left with a malfunctioning rear derailleur and, to compound it, no front shifting either, ultimately needing official mechanical assistance.
It really should go without saying that you shouldn't try this at home. Pro riders have superhuman bike handling skills at times, but they are also prone to errors, and when it comes to wheels and high speed bladed spokes the consequences of getting it wrong can be dire.
Those with long memories can cast their minds back to the 2012 Tour de France, where Chris Anker Sørensen narrowly avoided needing a skin graft on his hand after getting his fingers caught in the spokes while dislodging a newspaper that had become lodged in his forks.
While Kuss showed an impressive bit of skill, for the rest of us it's better to just stop.