Everyone wants to ride The Tour de France, and we’re not just talking just about the riders. For bike manufacturers it’s a huge honour to have the fittest athletes in the world piloting their brand through the streets of France (and of course, it boosts sales). Engineers and designers beaver feverishly to get their latest tech ready for what is one of the biggest media events on the planet. Here are some of the bikes currently blitzing through France. - By Neil Gardiner
A rough translation of ‘Oltre’ (from the Italian) is means ‘beyond’. Justified, because Bianchi has a long history of pushing the technological envelope in racing bikes; and riders like Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi, Moreno Argentin and Jan Ullrich have all climbed aboard the celeste-painted tubes with great success. Here, a high-modulus carbon fibre (UMS40) is mixed with IMS50 and strengthened using Carbon NanoTube technology. Oversized BB and thin seat stays blend stiffness and compliance, and a new internal moulding process eliminates excess resin, keeping the weight to a claimed 990g.
Team Vacansoleil-DCM spec:
FSA K-Force Light stem, bars, callipers and cranks, Vision Metron parts, FFWD wheels, KMC X10SL chain.
Riders: Johnny Hoogerland, Gustav Larsson.