Tour De Bikes!
If there's one thing that the month of July is better for than watching a thrilling three weeks of racing, it's ogling at all the drop-dead gorgeous bikes speeding through rolling countryside to lofty mountain peak. The Tour de France is almost upon us, so what better time to peruse the glamorous bikes that the pros will be riding this summer than right now?
The fight for yellow
Looking to take his 5th Tour de France title and etch his name among the greats, Chris Froome and his team line up for this race aboard his ever reliable, and proven winner, the Pinarello Dogma F10. Having just conquered a historic Giro d'Italia - completing an historic triple of consecutive Grand Tour victories - aboard his trusty Pinarello, Froome will no doubt line up on the start line brimming with confidence, the aero inclined frame and powerful Dura-Ace groupset a loyal companion for the Grand Tour champion.
Looking to mount a challenge to Froome in the battle for yellow will be Trek-Segafredo's Bauke Mollema, the Dutchman aiming for a top-5 finish at the Tour alongside his super lightweight Trek Emonda, a bike naturally favoured for climbing: "for the mountains I switch to the Emonda, because on the climbs weight is so important and you feel the bike accelerates really easily uphill." Everything on the Emonda has been slimmed down, from the 700 Series OCLV Carbon frame to a super thin Bontrager full carbon saddle, there's no extra weight holding this bike back in the mountains.
With one eye on the yellow jersey - the other one on their sprinter - Quick-Step Floors will be aiming to pilot their GC leader, Bob Jungels, into a strong position after stage 3's TTT, an event that they will likely dominate with their surplus of time trialing talent. For the mountain stages, the team will ride the S-Works Tarmac Ultralight, a slight variation on their versatile Tarmac model. An altered carbon layup shaves 200 grams from the standard model and a revolutionary paint job then adds up to a mere 10 grams, creating a frame that dips below an incredibly modest 800 grams.
Going for green
Not only will Quick-Step be aiming for a stint in yellow, but they'll also be eager to place their Colombian sprint star, Fernando Gaviria, straight into the green jersey, possibly as early as day one.
Gaviria has been rocking some imperious form over recent weeks, piloting his speedy S-Works Venge ViAS to a handful of Tour of California stage wins. Also aboard the S-Works aero demon will be the world champion himself, Peter Sagan. Looking to add a sixth green jersey title to his ever-growing collection, Sagan lines up toe to toe with Gaviria in France - the two seemingly the hot favourites for this classification.
That's not to say that other sprinters won't get a look-in however, Trek's John Degenkolb eager to demonstrate once and for all that he is back from his 2016 injury and show the cycling world what they've been missing. The speedy German will ride the Trek Madone in the bunch sprints - a bike engineered to handle powerful accelerations and aggressive handling - not to mention it also cuts through the air like a hot knife through butter.
The green jersey isn't only won in the bunch sprints. Many previous victors have taken this classification by engaging in fearless breakaway attempts and conquering tough medium mountain stages. One stage the fast men will have their eyes on will be the Paris-Roubaix inspired stage 9 and its 22km of infamous cobblestones that will shake the peloton to its core. Both Bora-Hansgrohe and Quick-Step will ride their cobble-munching S-Works Roubaix for this stage, a bike designed to glide over the roughest of terrain.
As is the tradition at the Tour de France, many teams will be riding new iterations of their 2018 models, giving a taster of what's to come in the 2019 ranges. See how many you can spot and remember to check back here as soon as the new models come to market.
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