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More bikes of the Tour de France: what the pros are riding this year

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Katusha riders are using a mix of Ridley Noahs and Heliums for Tour de France road stages.

Katusha riders are using a mix of Ridley Noahs and Heliums for Tour de France road stages.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rabobank riders have a number of Shimano wheels to choose from.

Rabobank riders have a number of Shimano wheels to choose from.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Head tubes on the Omega Pharma-Lotto team bikes are fairly long so most riders opt for a conventional headset cap assembly and slam their stems all the way down.

Head tubes on the Omega Pharma-Lotto team bikes are fairly long so most riders opt for a conventional headset cap assembly and slam their stems all the way down.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto bikes have been fitted with Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate for much of the this year's Tour de France.

Omega Pharma-Lotto bikes have been fitted with Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate for much of the this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Giant chain stays are matched to tiny seat stays on the Omega Pharma-Lotto Canyon Ultimate CF SLX.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Selle Italia saddles are mounted atop Ritchey posts on the Omega Pharma-Lotto team bikes.

Selle Italia saddles are mounted atop Ritchey posts on the Omega Pharma-Lotto team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Canyon's Ultimate CF SLX boasts an exceptionally stout front end.

Canyon's Ultimate CF SLX boasts an exceptionally stout front end.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Where on earth did the Omega Pharma-Lotto team mechanics find turquoise housing to match Jurgen Van den Broeck's custom paint job?

Where on earth did the Omega Pharma-Lotto team mechanics find turquoise housing to match Jurgen Van den Broeck's custom paint job?
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto_Canyon_SLX_paint.jpg

Omega Pharma-Lotto_Canyon_SLX_paint.jpg
(Image credit: James Huang)
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German company Canyon provides the Omega Pharma-Lotto team with its top-end Ultimate CF SLX frames.

German company Canyon provides the Omega Pharma-Lotto team with its top-end Ultimate CF SLX frames.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto's Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frames include stout forks for precise handling.

Omega Pharma-Lotto's Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frames include stout forks for precise handling.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rabobank bikes are outfitted with a variety of PRO handlebars and stems.

Rabobank bikes are outfitted with a variety of PRO handlebars and stems.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rabobank's Giant TCR Advanced SL frames include press-fit bottom bracket cups.

Rabobank's Giant TCR Advanced SL frames include press-fit bottom bracket cups.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Vittoria tires are mounted to Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubular rims on the Rabobank team bikes.

Vittoria tires are mounted to Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubular rims on the Rabobank team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear end of Rabobank's Giant TCR Advanced SLs features wishbone-style seat stays.

The rear end of Rabobank's Giant TCR Advanced SLs features wishbone-style seat stays.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Giant was one of the first manufacturers to use an integrated seatmast as seen here on the Rabobank team bikes.

Giant was one of the first manufacturers to use an integrated seatmast as seen here on the Rabobank team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Saddle sores can be a major problem at the Tour de France as demonstrated by Rabobank's Oscar Freire.

Saddle sores can be a major problem at the Tour de France as demonstrated by Rabobank's Oscar Freire.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Note the very different shapes of Shimano's mechanical vs. electronic Dura-Ace levers.

Note the very different shapes of Shimano's mechanical vs. electronic Dura-Ace levers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rabobank is again on Giant's TCR Advanced SL.

Rabobank is again on Giant's TCR Advanced SL.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rabobank riders are split between mechanical and electronic Shimano Dura-Ace groups.

Rabobank riders are split between mechanical and electronic Shimano Dura-Ace groups.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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This Rabobank rider is looking to get his bars as low as possible.

This Rabobank rider is looking to get his bars as low as possible.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tacx Taco cages hold on to the Rabobank team bottles.

Tacx Taco cages hold on to the Rabobank team bottles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Look KéO pedals are bolted to the Campagnolo Record cranks of the Omega Pharma-Lotto team.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto is using these unique chain watchers, which mount to the bottle cage bosses instead of the front derailleur tab for a far more secure foundation.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey cockpits are featured on the Omega Pharma-Lotto team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Katusha is using Vredestein tires mounted on Campagnolo rims.

Katusha is using Vredestein tires mounted on Campagnolo rims.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The black paint makes it hard to see but similar slots are featured on the seat stays, too.

The black paint makes it hard to see but similar slots are featured on the seat stays, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A collection of Selle San Marco saddles are mounted atop the Katusha team bikes.

A collection of Selle San Marco saddles are mounted atop the Katusha team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ridley was an early adopter of tapered steerers so it's no surprise to see one here.

Ridley was an early adopter of tapered steerers so it's no surprise to see one here.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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See those slots in the fork blades? Ridley contends the unique design pulls air away from the churning spokes to reduce aerodynamic drag.

See those slots in the fork blades? Ridley contends the unique design pulls air away from the churning spokes to reduce aerodynamic drag.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Katusha riders put the power down through Campagnolo Record cranks and Look K

Katusha riders put the power down through Campagnolo Record cranks and Look K
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cateye provides Katusha with its miniscule Strada Wireless computers. And yes, that's an FSA stem painted and decaled to look like a Deda one (most of the team bikes are fitted with proper Deda stems, though).

Cateye provides Katusha with its miniscule Strada Wireless computers. And yes, that's an FSA stem painted and decaled to look like a Deda one (most of the team bikes are fitted with proper Deda stems, though).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Katusha team riders use Elite's new Sior cages to hold their bottles.

Katusha team riders use Elite's new Sior cages to hold their bottles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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As with all Tour riders, Katusha has a choice of various rim depths to use for any given stage.

As with all Tour riders, Katusha has a choice of various rim depths to use for any given stage.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SL frames directly accept Campagnolo Ultra-Torque bottom bracket bearings.

Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SL frames directly accept Campagnolo Ultra-Torque bottom bracket bearings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Omega Pharma-Lotto team occasionally had Canyon's latest Aeroad CF machine on display but it's yet to be raced in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lampre-Vini Farnese team leader Damiano Cunego perches himself atop a fi'zi:k Arione saddle.

Lampre-Vini Farnese team leader Damiano Cunego perches himself atop a fi'zi:k Arione saddle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear end of Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SLs feature dramatically asymmetrical chain stays.

The rear end of Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SLs feature dramatically asymmetrical chain stays.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo Record Ergopower levers are clamped to Ritchey bars on the Lampre-Vini Farnese team bikes.

Campagnolo Record Ergopower levers are clamped to Ritchey bars on the Lampre-Vini Farnese team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Holy neon! Hard to miss the brightly covered Wilier Cento 1 SLs of Team Lampre-Vini Farnese.

Holy neon! Hard to miss the brightly covered Wilier Cento 1 SLs of Team Lampre-Vini Farnese.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Vittoria tires are wrapped around Lampre-Vini Farnese's Fulcrum carbon rims.

Vittoria tires are wrapped around Lampre-Vini Farnese's Fulcrum carbon rims.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The looped rear end of Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SL frames include replaceable derailleur hangers.

The looped rear end of Lampre-Vini Farnese's Wilier Cento 1 SL frames include replaceable derailleur hangers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like many Campagnolo-sponsored teams in this year's Tour de France, Lampre-Vini Farnese bikes use Record cranks, not Super Record ones.

Like many Campagnolo-sponsored teams in this year's Tour de France, Lampre-Vini Farnese bikes use Record cranks, not Super Record ones.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lampre-Vini Farnese team mechanics augment the purchase of the Tacx Tao Carbon cages with short pieces of grip tape.

Lampre-Vini Farnese team mechanics augment the purchase of the Tacx Tao Carbon cages with short pieces of grip tape.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cockpit setups of Katusha's Ridley bikes are awash in white.

Cockpit setups of Katusha's Ridley bikes are awash in white.
(Image credit: James Huang)

A mix of aero and lightweight machines for Team Katusha

The Katusha team is again on Ridley frames at this year's Tour de France with riders choosing between the aero-themed Noah and the lighter-weight Helium.

The Noah is a particularly interesting shape, almost being more of a time trial bike than one made for road racing. Key features include the unique split fork blades and seat stays co-developed with the folks at Oval Concepts that are said to help pull air out and away from each wheel's churning spokes and thus reducing drag.

Tube sections are notably deep and teardrop-shaped throughout as well, while the tapered front end and stout bottom bracket construction also suggest good handling precision and drivetrain efficiency.

The Helium, on the other hand, trades in the Noah's aero gains for a more comfortable package that also sheds more than 350g. Tube shapes are much closer to round on Ridley's more all-purpose platform and the seat stays are positively tiny in comparison to the deep and stout ones on the Noah.

Like the Noah, there's still a focus on drivetrain and handling efficiency, though, with another tapered front end and well-bolstered bottom end.

Team bikes are draped in a complete Campagnolo Record group from head to toe with Campagnolo also supplying carbon tubular wheels in various depths, all wrapped with Vredestein tires. Cockpit and seating components come courtesy of Deda and Selle San Marco, while Look KéO pedals, Elite bottle cages, and Cateye computers finish out the build.

All-business Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frames for Omega Pharma-Lotto

Aside from the water-themed custom paint job of team leader Jurgen Van den Broeck, Omega Pharma-Lotto's starkly painted white-and-black Canyon Ultimate CF SLX are all function and little flash. That being said, Van den Broeck has clearly demonstrated that the function is really all that matters, anyway.

Canyon has concentrated on stiffness-to-weight for its flagship model, which includes a bigger-than-typical 1 1/4"-to-1 1/2" tapered front end, a gigantic head tube-down tube junction, a wildly asymmetrical seat tube, and huge chain stays, all intended to yield as little unwanted frame flex as possible – and as our upcoming firsthand long-term review will soon show, the German company has been quite successful.

Even so, Omega Pharma-Lotto's bikes are surprisingly comfortable as well, owing to the tiny seat stays and relatively small-diameter 27.2mm seatpost.

Team bikes are built with full Campagnolo Record groups with Mavic wheels (usually the company's top-end Cosmic Carbone Ultimates), Ritchey bars, stems, and posts, Look KéO pedals, Selle Italia saddles, Continental tires, Tacx Tao Carbon cages, and CycleOps computers.

One interesting bit of kit that we haven't seen before, though, is the team's chain watchers. As opposed to the rest of the field's catchers that are mounted to the front derailleur braze-on – and thus prone to rotating inwards under load – Omega Pharma-Lotto's are rigidly mounted to the water bottle mounts for a much more secure foundation.

Lampre-Vini Farnese's bright neon Wilier Cento 1 SL

Lampre-Vini Farnese had previously rolled out the neon yellow edition of Wilier's Cento 1 SL for just its top riders at the Giro d'Italia but saw fit to equip the entire team for the Tour de France.

The Cento 1 SL is a more evolved version of the standard Cento 1 that sheds about 130g, wearing the same external shape but swapping in a more advanced carbon fiber blend and nanoparticle-infused resin, a more aggressively machined bottom bracket sleeve, carbon fiber headset cups in place of aluminum ones, and even a pared-down paint finish over the trick new top sheet, which comprises barely more than some clearcoat and a few smatterings of neon green.

Aside from that, the standard Cento 1 design features carry over, including the downward-arcing asymmetrical chain stays looping into stout wishbone-style seat stays, an integrated seat mast, and a square-profile lower head tube.


Holy neon! Hard to miss the brightly covered Wilier Cento 1 SLs of Team Lampre-Vini Farnese.

Team bikes are kitted out in a suitably Italian-themed package. Drivetrain and braking duties are handled by Campagnolo's Record group, wheels are provided by sister company Fulcrum, tires are from Vittoria, and seating arrangements are provided by fi'zi:k.

Finishing things off are Ritchey bars and stems (and seatpost heads), Time iClic pedals, Tacx Tao Carbon cages, and Garmin Edge 500 computers.

A closer look at the Rabobank Giant TCR Advanced SL

2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov and the rest of his Rabobank team have once again arrived at the Tour de France aboard the Giant TCR Advanced SL.

Officially unveiled two years ago, Giant's TCR Advanced SL includes all of the design features now considered virtually compulsory for modern frames: a tapered front end, an extra-wide bottom bracket shell with press-fit cups, an integrated seat mast, and optional internal wiring for Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 system.

Claimed weight for the frame, fork, seatmast head and hardware is just 1,497g.

Rabobank team bikes are an almost all-Shimano affair with either Dura-Ace 7900 or Di2 complete groups, Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels of various depths, Dura-Ace pedals, and handlebars, stems, and computers from sister company PRO.

Tires come from Vittoria, though, and saddles come courtesy of Selle Italia. Bottles and cages are from Dutch company Tacx.