The Race to Paris

The Race to Paris

The Race to Paris

The final stage of this year’s Tour de France takes place on July 28th and as always, finishes with a momentous sprint down the Champs-Élysées. After a gruelling and punishing race of mountains, time trials and categorised climbs, the riders can’t wait to get to the finish line in Paris. This iconic stage has seen sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Eddie Merckx establish themselves as cycling greats. The final stage of the Tour de France is also a showcase of some of the finest bikes, equipment and clothing in the industry.

Specialized S-Works Venge – Peter Sagan

Peter Sagan is a powerful force in cycling and is perpetually in the green jersey at the Tour de France. He has already claimed a win on Stage 5 of this year’s Tour, edging out Wout Van Aert in a sprint finish, so should be a top favourite on Sunday. However, Sagan does not have fond memories of the 2018 sprint down the Champs-Élysées. Having suffered a heavy crash during stage 17, he was unable to recover in time to mount a serious challenge.

This year he hopes to change that. Sagan will hunt down the final stage win of this year’s Tour onboard the Specialized S-Works Venge. For this aero-enhanced sprint machine, Specialized developed new airfoil shapes in their Win Tunnel and have also reduced the weight of the frame using Rider-First Engineered™ geometry. These also increase the stiffness and provide 40% more compliance.

Kask Protone – Geraint Thomas

Welshman Geraint Thomas is the defending Tour de France champion. In 2018 he put in an excellent performance over three weeks, ending in a ride down to the Arc de Triomphe head to toe in yellow. So far, the 2019 edition hasn’t been smooth sailing for Thomas and Team Ineos. They were pipped to the stage win in the team time trial by Jumbo-Visma and Julian Alaphilippe extended his lead over Thomas in the individual time trial.

That doesn’t mean that Thomas is out of the running though. You can expect to see the Kask Protone helmet of Thomas pick his way through the peloton as he competes right up to the very end. The Protone helmet prides itself on having incredibly low drag and quick dispersal of heat. The helmet is also very well ventilated without sacrificing protection.

Specialized S-Works 7 Shoes – Julian Alaphilippe

1985 was the last year a Frenchman, Bernard Hinault, won the Tour de France. Current leader of the 2019 race, Julian Alaphilippe, hadn’t even been born then. It’s safe to say that the French are excited about the possibility of having a French winner this year. Alaphilippe laid down the gauntlet by winning Stage 3 this year and backed it up with an impressive, and unexpected, win in the Stage 13 individual time trial. Will he still be in yellow as the peloton enters Paris?

Alaphilippe races in a pair of top-of-the-line Specialized S-Works 7 shoes. The S-Works 7 are light, stiff and, most importantly, comfortable. The Boa® S3-Snap dials allow you to tighten your shoes exactly how you like them and the PadLock™ heel offers improved comfort over other shoes as the heel is cradled and cushioned.

With everything still to play for it’s hard to see a clear favourite at this stage of the Tour de France. With so many talented riders, impressive bikes and technical gear on show, it’s anyone’s game. Exciting!

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