Andre Greipel, Lotto-Belisol’s lead sprinter has just began his 2014 season with two more Santos Tour Down Under Stage wins, adding to his impressive record tally of 16.
For a man affectionately known as the ‘Gorilla’ and at just over 6ft tall, Greipel’s choice of a small size frame is a little surprising. We’re seeing this become a common trend as sprinters work with the limitations of stock geometry and size down in an effort to get lower and more aggressive. Greipel counters this small frame with a generous 140mm length stem, and a 35mm clamp diameter at the handlebar to counter flex.
Amongst the otherwise black bikes of team Lotto-Belisol, the most recognizable part of Greipel’s bike is the custom paintwork and saddle. Blending his recently earned German National Champion stripes with his nickname – the ‘Gorilla’.
The Ridley Noah Fast frameset is an attention seeker that’s full of wind cheating technology and tube profiles. Most recognizable, the ‘FAST Technology’ in the name refers to the integrated brakes, Ridley claims this is for smoother air-flow and ‘best-in-class’ aerodynamics.
If the custom paintwork and saddle aren’t enough, the rest of the build is nothing but the best. A full Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset and the very deep Bora Ultra 80 wheels complete this sprint weapon. Greipel didn’t use such deep wheels for his two stage wins, rather picking a set of 50mm deep Campagnolo 80th anniversary.
Greipel’s bike features the new Campagnolo EPS internal race battery, with the charging point accessible on his seat tube beneath his bidon cage. We suspect this is a modification made by the team’s mechanics, and one likely available on future production models.
Where the rest of the team use Lizard Skins DSP handlebar tape, we noticed Greipel had rather basic cork tape in place, clearly as a personal choice.
While the Noah Fast is Greipel’s pick for sprint stages, we spotted him with the Helium SL for hillier stages, where he wasn’t likely to contest the win. This is clearly a choice of lower weight over aerodynamics, with his Noah Fast weighing in at rather solid 7.5kg. This isn’t rare in the bigger tours, but with the Tour Down Under being a logistical nightmare for most teams, it’s surprising to see such detailed gear support for the German sprinter.