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More new stuff from the Tour de France

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The Bouygues Telecom team was spotted

The Bouygues Telecom team was spotted
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Every Garmin-Chipotle rider was fitted with a new Edge 705

Every Garmin-Chipotle rider was fitted with a new Edge 705
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Spiuk debuted a new top-end helmet called the Daggon.

Spiuk debuted a new top-end helmet called the Daggon. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Bouygues Telecom team was spotted with Time's new RXR Ulteam amidst the sea of standard RXS Ulteam bikes.

The Bouygues Telecom team was spotted with Time's new RXR Ulteam amidst the sea of standard RXS Ulteam bikes. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The RXR Ulteam front triangle uses more heavily shaped tubes and sharper lines than the RXS.

The RXR Ulteam front triangle uses more heavily shaped tubes and sharper lines than the RXS. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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A deep-profile seat tube presumably makes the frame more aerodynamic along with the profiled cut-out.

A deep-profile seat tube presumably makes the frame more aerodynamic along with the profiled cut-out. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The new integrated seat mast head utilizes a snazzy-looking two-bolt configuration.

The new integrated seat mast head utilizes a snazzy-looking two-bolt configuration. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Alejandro Valverde's Pinarello Prince looked pretty much identical to other versions we've seen…

Alejandro Valverde's Pinarello Prince looked pretty much identical to other versions we've seen… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…although the team's latest bikes were now also fitted with replaceable derailleur hangers.

…although the team's latest bikes were now also fitted with replaceable derailleur hangers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Every Garmin-Chipotle rider was fitted with a new Edge 705 GPS computer that was preloaded with the entire course profile for each stage.

Every Garmin-Chipotle rider was fitted with a new Edge 705 GPS computer that was preloaded with the entire course profile for each stage. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The team also had the latest PowerTap rear hubs which are now compatible with the ANT+Sport wireless protocol.

The team also had the latest PowerTap rear hubs which are now compatible with the ANT+Sport wireless protocol. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Spiuk debuted a new top-end helmet called the Daggon.

Spiuk debuted a new top-end helmet called the Daggon. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The new Spiuk Daggon has a more open architecture than its Nexion predecessor.

The new Spiuk Daggon has a more open architecture than its Nexion predecessor. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The carbon-reinforced shape is also far more stylish than we've seen in the past from Spiuk.

The carbon-reinforced shape is also far more stylish than we've seen in the past from Spiuk. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Big exhaust ports look like they'll be effective as evacuating hot air.

Big exhaust ports look like they'll be effective as evacuating hot air. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The internal reinforcements also allow for a more deeply channeled interior to more effectively more air across the top of the head.

The internal reinforcements also allow for a more deeply channeled interior to more effectively more air across the top of the head. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Swiss CSC-Saxo Bank strongman Fabian Cancellara is using a one-off carbon fiber derailleur cage and carbon fiber pulleys on his Cervélo. According to team mechanic Alejandro Tullalbo, the setup requires 2cm more chain but runs with less friction than conventional setups. Other team riders may adopt the setup as well.

Swiss CSC-Saxo Bank strongman Fabian Cancellara is using a one-off carbon fiber derailleur cage and carbon fiber pulleys on his Cervélo. According to team mechanic Alejandro Tullalbo, the setup requires 2cm more chain but runs with less friction than conventional setups. Other team riders may adopt the setup as well. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The pulleys and cage plates are both cut from carbon fiber plate so it's all remarkably thin when viewed edge-on.

The pulleys and cage plates are both cut from carbon fiber plate so it's all remarkably thin when viewed edge-on. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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New Tour de France leader Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank) ascended the dreaded L'Alpe d'Huez with FSA's latest K-Force Light Titanium and elliptical Rotor Q-Rings.

New Tour de France leader Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank) ascended the dreaded L'Alpe d'Huez with FSA's latest K-Force Light Titanium and elliptical Rotor Q-Rings. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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The Ag2R team was running their usual BH Global Concept G4 machines…

The Ag2R team was running their usual BH Global Concept G4 machines… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…fitted with new ultralight seat collars courtesy of Spanish compatriot Rotor.

…fitted with new ultralight seat collars courtesy of Spanish compatriot Rotor. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Caisse d'Epargne's Pinarello Prince machines sported matching MOst stems...

Caisse d'Epargne's Pinarello Prince machines sported matching MOst stems... (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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…although they were clearly Zero100 stems from Italian component maker Deda Elementi.

…although they were clearly Zero100 stems from Italian component maker Deda Elementi. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Rabobank bikes were fitted with these blue brake pads although we're not sure of the manufacturer just yet (we do know they're not from SwissStop).

Rabobank bikes were fitted with these blue brake pads although we're not sure of the manufacturer just yet (we do know they're not from SwissStop). (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Say, what's in the saddle bag of this Français des Jeux rider?

Say, what's in the saddle bag of this Français des Jeux rider? (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
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Barloworld mechanics hand-etched the sidewalls of this Mavic R-SYS wheel in hopes of getting better braking performance in wet conditions.

Barloworld mechanics hand-etched the sidewalls of this Mavic R-SYS wheel in hopes of getting better braking performance in wet conditions. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)

Race tech: Tour de France, July 24, 2008

Bouygues Telecom's Time RXR Ulteam

The French Bouygues Telecom team has among its quiver a new RXR Ulteam road machine from Time. Visually speaking, the RXR Ulteam is somewhat of a hybrid of the existing VXRS Ulteam road and RXR time trial frames: the seat tube wears a deep aero profile with a wheel-hugging cutout, the top tube and down tube adopt a more triangular shape and the frame in general is more tightly creased.

Time reportedly continues to use its RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) manufacturing technique for the new RXR Ulteam but has supposedly toned down the stiffness somewhat relative to the VXRS, partially to make up for the deeper tube profiles. The 1000g claimed frame weight is also a bit heavier than VXRS' 915g figure but still plenty light, plus its slippery shape might actually be faster on the road.

Even so, this new model seems to be spending more time on top of the team car than on the road. Given how few of them we spotted, we're guessing the team might want to log some more testing time before relying on it in major events.

Up top there's the familiar integrated seatmast although Time has fitted the RXR with a new carbon two-bolt head (with titanium hardware) that provides 3cm of height adjustment. The front derailleur braze-on mount is height-adjustable as well for use with standard or compact cranksets.

What the new RXR Ulteam won't be, however, is inexpensive; projected retail cost is said to be in the neighborhood of €3999 although that will at least include the accompanying fork, headset, stem and seatpost head.

GPS guides the way for Christian Vande Velde and Garmin-Chipotle

Christian Vande Velde and his Garmin-Chipotle teammates have gained more than just a much-welcome wad of cash with their new title sponsor, Garmin. The GPS giant has also outfitted the entire team with its latest Edge 705 computer and the riders have wasted little time in taking advantages of its packed feature set, which includes the ability to pair up with their PowerTap rear hubs.

In addition, the team has uploaded each day's course on to each unit so the riders know exactly where they are, where they're headed and what key markers are coming up. These not only include sprint and KOM locations but also dangerous areas to pay particularly close attention and even seemingly mundane spots such as feed zones. In the mountains, detailed course profiles also let the riders know how much climbing is ahead of them and where the road might kick up in pitch or let off a bit.

According to the team's physiologist and trainer extraordinaire, Allen Lim, other teams may have similar computers on their bikes but Garmin-Chipotle is supposedly the only squad to have gone to such lengths to upload this much data.

New Spiuk Daggon helmets for AG2R and Agritubel squads

Spiuk has clearly stepped up its helmet game in a big way with its latest Daggon helmets, currently worn by both the AG2R and Agritubel teams (including stage 16 winner Cyril Dessel). The new lids feature an internal reinforcement skeleton and external carbon fiber patches to reinforce its 27 vents while deep internal channeling helps direct airflow across the top of the head. The new in-molded multi-piece shell also provides a decidedly stylish look as well.

Spiuk will also include its usual CompactFix retention system along with its convenient one-piece netted interior padding to ward off insects. Alternatively, Spiuk will also include more conventional padding for those looking to maximize the ventilation (or for those living in drier, less buggy climates).

Claimed weight for the Daggon is 270g and Spiuk will offer it in two sizes and a multitude of colors. The AG2R and Agritubel teams are still testing prototypes, though, so consumers won't be able to get one until late fall or early spring. Pricing is yet to be determined but is expected to be competitive with other top offerings.

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