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Tour de France tech: Cavendish debuts hydraulic rim brakes

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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) became the first rider in the peloton to use SRAM’s hydraulic rim brakes in road competition

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) became the first rider in the peloton to use SRAM’s hydraulic rim brakes in road competition
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Dutch Team Belkin had seen that most components – including the Pioneer power meters - matched the sponsors new colours

Dutch Team Belkin had seen that most components – including the Pioneer power meters - matched the sponsors new colours
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Pinot seems to be trialling his position – the saddle is set back to almost comic proportions and at the front end there was steering spacers on top of his stem to allow for upward adjustment

Pinot seems to be trialling his position – the saddle is set back to almost comic proportions and at the front end there was steering spacers on top of his stem to allow for upward adjustment
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Thibaut Pinot’s (FDJ) Lapierre Xelius EFi frame was carrying a modified fork, with the top front edge cut away to accept a Shimano Dura-Ace Direct Mount brake

Thibaut Pinot’s (FDJ) Lapierre Xelius EFi frame was carrying a modified fork, with the top front edge cut away to accept a Shimano Dura-Ace Direct Mount brake
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Tyre maker Schwalbe have a new tyre in the athlete-testing process. These tyres on the AG2R-La Mondiale squad bikes bear the maker’s First Ride stamp on a model with a new diamond tread. It’s called the One

Tyre maker Schwalbe have a new tyre in the athlete-testing process. These tyres on the AG2R-La Mondiale squad bikes bear the maker’s First Ride stamp on a model with a new diamond tread. It’s called the One
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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There were three different styles of seatpost on the Orcas at the Euskaltel-Euskadi bikes – one straight and two with setback, and this was the most radical

There were three different styles of seatpost on the Orcas at the Euskaltel-Euskadi bikes – one straight and two with setback, and this was the most radical
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was getting into the Tour mode with the special edition Polar RC3 Bike GPS watch. We’re not sure what proportion of the aero advantage of the new Orca frame is offset against the mounting

Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was getting into the Tour mode with the special edition Polar RC3 Bike GPS watch. We’re not sure what proportion of the aero advantage of the new Orca frame is offset against the mounting
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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A decade on from the first Orca, the new model is compatible with both electronic and mechanical groupsets

A decade on from the first Orca, the new model is compatible with both electronic and mechanical groupsets
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The kinked seatstays and chainstays have been retained in the new Orca, but have been sculpted to give a more flowing look to the whole

The kinked seatstays and chainstays have been retained in the new Orca, but have been sculpted to give a more flowing look to the whole
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Euskaltel-Euskadi team rode out on Orbea’s new Orca Race, a more organic evolution on the previous model that is based on stack and reach measurements, rather than conventional seat-tube and toptube numbers

The Euskaltel-Euskadi team rode out on Orbea’s new Orca Race, a more organic evolution on the previous model that is based on stack and reach measurements, rather than conventional seat-tube and toptube numbers
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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New to the 695 AeroLight is the Look AeroStem – an elegant, more aerodynamic evolution to the angular and brick-like C-Stem. The clamping mechanism is covered under the rubberised flap

New to the 695 AeroLight is the Look AeroStem – an elegant, more aerodynamic evolution to the angular and brick-like C-Stem. The clamping mechanism is covered under the rubberised flap
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Hidden among the Cofidis team bikes was Christophe Le Mével’s Look 695 Aerolight. He was the only rider on the new frame. Instead of using Look’s one-piece Z2 crank, however, mechanics fitted a team issue FSA K-Force Light

Hidden among the Cofidis team bikes was Christophe Le Mével’s Look 695 Aerolight. He was the only rider on the new frame. Instead of using Look’s one-piece Z2 crank, however, mechanics fitted a team issue FSA K-Force Light
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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 At the start, the brakes were a talking point with other riders, mostly from the Team Sky squad

At the start, the brakes were a talking point with other riders, mostly from the Team Sky squad
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The only hangover from Blanco days at the completely refreshed squad however were the Tacx bidons - all the bikes carried them

The only hangover from Blanco days at the completely refreshed squad however were the Tacx bidons - all the bikes carried them
(Image credit: BikeRadar)

Stage 1 of the Tour de France may have been marked by crashes, a team bus and Marcel Kittel pulling on yellow but there were a number of tech aspects that made waves too.

First up was Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who was debuting hydraulic rim brakes for the first time. There was also the new Look 695 Aerolight at Cofidis and the new, more sculpted Orbea Orca were all present on yesterday’s first stage to Bastia.

There were also tyres from Schwalbe – called the One – which carried the company’s First Ride stamp, a sure sign that some new road tyres are on the way.