Team Ineos raced stage 5 of the Tour de France, which was won by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), on Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels, with the team confirming they will also race the wheels on stage 6 to La Planche Des Belles Filles – which features gradients of over 20 per cent – and other climbing-focused stages during the race.
The British squad have used Shimano wheels and Pinarello frames since their inception, but are expected to continue to switch between the Lightweight wheels and the usual Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 series wheels for the rest of this year’s Tour.
Cyclingnews spotted all eight Team Ineos riders racing on the wheelsets during Wednesday’s stage, alongside each rider’s spare bike on the roof of the team car. It is understood that the German carbon specialists don’t sponsor any professional riders or teams and so the team would have paid for the 16 pairs of wheels out of their budget, totalling around £80,000 at full retail value.
The Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels have a claimed weight of 935g versus the Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 C40 weight of 1,355g – a weight saving of more than 400g. The switch to the wheels should bring the team’s Pinarello Dogma F12 bikes down to the 6.8kg UCI minimum weight limit, if they weren’t already there.
A Team Ineos spokesperson confirmed that Shimano remains a partner of the team but the riders will have the choice of both sets of wheels throughout the race. When contacted by Cyclingnews, Shimano said: "Shimano is the main supplier and is a valued partner for Team Ineos".
Follow all of Cyclingnews' Tour de France tech coverage here.
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