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Back 7.24.2008

Zipp Wheels of the Tour de France

July 24, 2008

The Tour’s Stage 16 and 17 called for the svelte climbers of Team CSC/Saxo Bank and Team Garmin-Chipotle to pull out the lightweight, wind-tunnel designed 202s. This wheel choice proved to benefit Carlos Sastre and the brothers Schleck, but what are the rest of the Zipp equipped riders using for the various stages of the Tour?

During the time trial stages, look for the teams to pull out either a Zipp Sub-9 or a Zipp 900 disc as their rear wheel of choice. The Sub-9 offers negative drag when paired with Zipp’s Tangente Tire, actually pushing the rider forward in the aerodynamic sweet spot. Team Garmin-Chipotle rider’s Sub-9s are equipped with PowerTap technology, the same PowerTap that is available to consumers as an upgrade in all of Zipp’s disc products. The front wheel of choice for the TT stages for either team is normally the super-slippery 808 or the uber-deep 1080 – the fastest non-disc wheel in the universe.

The so called “flat” stages offer the opportunity for the versatile Zipp 404, Zipp 808, or a combination thereof to shine. The 404 is Zipp’s most race-proven wheel set, winning races all the way from the stages of the Grand Tours to the Queen K in Kona. The 58mm deep wheel set offers a combination of aerodynamic, light-weight and stiffness. Many of the riders on CSC/Saxo Bank are turning to the 808 for these stages. It offers the riders greater aerodynamics, superior stiffness, and rapid response in the sprints. Don’t take our word for it, watch Fabian the next time he breaks away from the peloton with 1K to go on an 808 rear and a 404 front!

Want to know more? Check out what Team Garmin-Chipotle’s Jonathan Vaughters has to say about the team’s wheel choices. We also spoke with Guillaume Prebois in ZippCast#53 who is riding all 3 grand tours on Zipp Speed Weapons.

Racing photography is courtesy of www.tdwsport.com