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Tour de France tech: Who won with what?

Tour de France tech
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alas, the 2021 Tour de France is officially over, and Tadej Pogačar has been crowned the victor, confirming the result that has seemed almost nailed on since the end of the first week.  

Since he won the time trial on stage 5, he has followed it up with a near perfect display of dominance, marking out each and every one of his rivals and not losing a single second until the penultimate day, another time trial, when simply getting round safely was the priority. 

Alongside that dominant performance, new bikes, tech, kit, components and more have been on show for all to see, with manufacturers making the most of the 'shop window' effect of the world's biggest bike race. Of course, the typical customisations of the latest national champions jerseys, special framesets for each of the race’s classification winners, plenty of non-sponsor components and prototype tech all snuck its way into the peloton, too. 

Here we take a look at all of the tech on show at the 2021 Tour de France, who won and with what, and the winners and losers from bike and component manufacturers.

Stage by stage: The winners
StageWinner (Team)BikeWheelsTyresTyre typeGroupset
1Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
2Mathieu Van der Poel (Alpecin Fenix)
Canyon Aeroad CFR
Shimano Dura-Ace C60
Vittoria CorsaTubularShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
3Tim Merlier (Alpecin Fenix)
Canyon Aeroad CFR
Shimano Dura-Ace C60
Vittoria CorsaTubularShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
4Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
5Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)Colnago K-OneCampagnolo
Vittoria Corsa TLR
TubelessCampagnolo Super Record EPS 11 Rim
6Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
7Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious)Merida ReactoVision Metron
Continental GP5000 TL
TubelessShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
8Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious)Merida SculturaVision Metron
Continental Competition
TubularShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
9Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroen)
BMC Teammachine SLR
Campagnolo Bora One
Pirelli P ZeroTubularCampagnolo Super Record EPS 12 Disc
10Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
11Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma)Cervélo R5 (unreleased)
Vision Metron (non-sponsor)
Vittoria CorsaTubularShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
12Nils Politt (Bora Hansgrohe)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
13Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
14Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo)
Trek Emonda SLR
Bontrager Aelous RSL
Pirelli P ZeroTubularSRAM Red eTap AXS 12 Disc
15Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma)Cervélo R5 (unreleased)
Vision Metron (non-sponsor)
Vittoria CorsaTubularShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
16Patrick Konrad (Bora Hansgrohe)
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
Roval Rapide CLX
Specialized Turbo Cotton
ClincherShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
17Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)Colnago V3Rs
Campagnolo Bora Ultra
Vittoria CorsaTubularCampagnolo Super Record EPS 12 Rim
18Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)Colnago V3Rs
Campagnolo Bora Ultra
Vittoria CorsaTubularCampagnolo Super Record EPS 12 Rim
19Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious)Merida ReactoVision Metron
Continental GP5000 TL
TubelessShimano Dura Ace Di2 Disc
20Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma)Cervélo P5
Shimano / Aerocoach
Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR
Tubeless
Dura Ace Di2 Disc
21Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma)Cervélo S5
Shimano Dura-Ace C60
Vittoria Corsa Tubular
Dura Ace Di2 Disc

Battle of the brands

Despite having 19 manufacturers in the peloton, the 2021 Tour de France has seen stages won by just seven different bike brands. 

The winningest of these was Specialized, whose seven wins all came aboard the S-Works Tarmac SL7 bike, thanks to four sprint victories by Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep), one from his teammate Julian Alaphilippe, and two from Bora-Hansgrohe, courtesy of Nils Politt and Patrick Konrad

Second on the list goes to Cervélo, courtesy of a single victory by Sepp Kuss on stage 15, and the most perfect of hat-tricks from Wout Van Aert. Not only did he win a time trial, a sprint and a mountain stage, he did so aboard three different bikes, the P5 time trial bike, the S5 aero bike, and the as-yet-unreleased bike we assume to be the new R5. 

In joint third and sharing the bronze medal comes Colnago and Merida, both with a trio of wins each, thanks to wins by Pogačar, Matej Mohorič and Dylan Teuns. Of course, this will be of little consequence to Colnago, a company that takes home three of the four available classifications.

Meanwhile, Canyon can boast a brace of stage wins, while BMC and Trek won one apiece. 

Which bike brand won the most Tour de France stages?
BrandStage wins
Specialized7
Cervelo4
Colnago3
Merida3
Canyon2
Trek1
BMC1

Vision SC40 DB

(Image credit: Aaron Borrill)

Wheels of fortune

By virtue of Specialized's seven wins, the American company's component subsidiary Roval shares the same number of victories to win in the wheels category. 

However, it's followed slightly more closely, with five stages being won on Vision, a company whose wheels have been used by various teams, as well as Jumbo Visma, against the better wishes of their contracted sponsor, Shimano. Despite this, Shimano still manages a joint third place alongside Campagnolo, both with four wins. Bontrager brings up the rear with just one stage, thanks to the efforts of Bauke Mollema on stage 14. 

Which wheel brand won the most Tour de France stages?
BrandStage wins
Roval7
Vision5
Shimano4
Campagnolo4
Bontrager1

Roval Rapide CLX road wheels

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

The tyre technology trident

Tubeless, tubular, or clincher. Those are the three types of tyre technology that featured in the 2021 Tour de France, but which can claim to be the most successful? Will the new-hat tubeless outshine its ancestral tubular counterparts, or will the everyman's clincher emerge triumphant? 

Well, look away now, cool kids, because it's the tried and tested tubular that takes the trophy with 10 victories, shared among Vittoria (7), Pirelli (2) and Continental (1). 

Once again, the Specialized behemoth affected the outcome somewhat here, because second place goes to clincher tyres, courtesy of the same seven victories by Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe aboard Specialized's Turbo Cotton tyres. Tubeless did have its days though, four of them in fact, with Vittoria's Corsa Speed TLR claiming both of the time trials, and Continental's GP5000 TL helping Mohorič to both of his wins. 

It wasn't a good year for Goodyear, who alongside Michelin and a few others, failed to gain a single stage victory. 

Which tyres won the most Tour de France stages?
BrandStage winsTyre typeStage wins
Vittoria9Tubular10
Specialized7Clincher7
Continental3Tubeless4
Pirelli2

Giant TCR Advanced SL 0 2021

(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

A bad year for SRAM

Despite being the only groupset manufacturer yet to make the jump to 12-speed, Shimano still managed to dominate the stage win standings, winning 16 of the 21 stages. That's more than 75 per cent of them. 

Campagnolo's somewhat disappointing four stage wins will be completely overshadowed by the fact that it walks away with the yellow jersey, as well as the white and polka dot jerseys for good measure. 

In an ironic - for anyone familiar with the viral video - turn of events, it was Bauke Mollema who saved SRAM from leaving the Tour de France empty handed, but even with that one victory, SRAM will no doubt leave disappointed not to have taken more. 

Which groupset brand won the most Tour de France stages?
BrandStage wins
Shimano16
Campagnolo4
SRAM1

Rim brakes fight on

Anyone new to the sport might be surprised to learn that despite their near-monopoly on the bikes of the peloton, disc brakes had never won a Tour de France coming into the 2021 race. Sure, they'd won stages, that happened as far back as 2017 when Marcel Kittel won the sprint on stage 2, but they had never won the yellow jersey. 

They had a very small claim on last year's race after Tadej Pogačar used discs on one of the flat stages, but the race was won in the mountains and for all of those stages, the Slovenian was aboard rim brakes. 

Sadly for rim brake purists around the world, the 2021 Tour has seen the tides finally turn because this year's winner used disc brakes for 17 of his 21 stages, although with that said, rim brakes still maintain their relevance, because Pogačar switched back to rim brakes for his two mountain-top victories on stages 17 and 18. 

Admittedly, the damage had already been done on his GC rivals by this point, but representatives from Campagnolo do admit that this was a weight saving exercise.

Which braking technology won the most Tour de France stages?
BrakesStage wins
Disc brakes18
Rim brakes3

Of course, at 18-3 in favour of discs in terms of stage wins, most sports would call this a hammering, but considering only two out of the 23 teams had access to them, rim brakes fight valiantly on. 

Josh Croxton

Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.