Thibaut Pinot's Lapierre Xelius SL - Gallery

The race bike of Tour de France contender

Thibaut Pinot has had a successful start to the 2016 season with the FDJ rider enjoying victory at Critérium International and most recently a time trial stage at Tour de Romandie on his way to second place overall. The 25-year-old has improved against the clock in 2016 in part thanks to the new Lapierre Aerostorm DRS time trial bike but improvements and changes to the Xelius SL road bike has also been of benefit to Pinot.

Lapierre updated its top two road models last year, the Aircode SL and Xelius SL, which saw the French company completely rework the latter. Lapierre claim the Xelius SL weights just 850g, the Trek Emonda by way of comparison is claimed to weigh 690g, placing it in the upper levels of elite climbing bikes. 

The most striking feature of the new Xelius SL is the '3D Tubular Technology' of the rear end with the stays running either side of the seat tube without touching it. The engineers worked with the FDJ riders in the development of the new bike to meet both engineering and race objectives with Pinot first riding the Xelius SL at last year's Tirreno Adriatico having started the season on the Aircode SL.

Pinot showed off the climbing chops of the Xelius SL on stage 20 of last year's Tour de France when he rode away to victory atop Alpe d'Huez. Pinot's bike is largely the same for 2016 with a slightly updated paint scheme the main difference.

However, it appears that Pinot is now using a Garmin powermeter in 2016 for road stages while remaining to use a SRM headunit for time trials as recently observed at the Tour de Romandie.

Besides a white Fizik Arione saddle and Richey headset, Pinot's Xelius SL is a fully equipped Shimano affair. Pinot is running a full Dura Ace Di2 groupset with Shimano's PRO Components providing stem, handlebar, bar tape and seat post. 

Shimano Dura Ace C50 wheels keep Pinot rolling for the majority of his race days with the C24 wheels also available for the more mountainous days in the saddle. Rounding off the build is Elite bottles and bottle cages and a SRM chain catcher.

For a closer look at Pinot's bike, click or swipe through the gallery above. 

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