Zipp’s best ever Tour de France rolls into Paris
After 21 exhilarating, grueling, sometimes controversial, and ultimately inspiring days of racing, the 2010 Tour de France has drawn to a close as the best-ever edition for Zipp Speed Weaponry.
In total, the athletes of Astana, Cervélo TestTeam, and Team Saxo Bank used Zipp’s full range of the world’s fastest carbon wheels to tally 6 stage wins, 17 days in the yellow jersey, 11 days in the green jersey, and 13 days as the Best Young Rider.
Of course, this year’s Tour will always be remembered for Alberto Contador’s hard-fought victory over Andy Schleck. After 3,619 kilometers from Rotterdam to Paris, the Astana rider won the third Tour of his career with a slim 39-second advantage over his ever-improving rival from Saxo Bank.
With Schleck and Contador as the prohibitive pre-race favorites, this Tour was likely to be won Zipp’s superlight-yet-responsive 202 climbing wheels. Sure enough, Schleck rode 202s to mountaintop wins on Stages 8 and 17. And both riders were on 202s at the crucial moments that decided the Tour: when they cooperated to eliminate all their other rivals on the Col de la Madeleine, during the controversy when Contador gained the yellow jersey on the Port de Balès, and as they battled to a draw atop the Col du Tourmalet.
Also living up to expectations was the 303, which earlier this year became the first carbon wheelset ever to win Paris-Roubaix. When Stage 3 of the Tour covered many of those same cobblestones, the 303’s durability and aero advantage carried Thor Hushovd to the stage win and the green jersey, Fabian Cancellara back into the yellow jersey, and Schleck to a surprising finish in the lead group.
The versatile, 58mm-deep 404 contributed to Alexander Vinokourov’s victory in Stage 13, when he attacked sharply over a small climb near the finish and held off the chasing peloton on the gradual downhill run-in. The 404 also featured prominently in the sprints and not just with Astana, Cervélo, and Saxo Bank riders.
Zipp’s aero workhorse, the 808 didn’t capture any stage wins. But its 82mm-deep profile was prominent in the sprints as Cervélo TestTeam worked to defend Hushovd’s green jersey and on the flats as the domestiques of Saxo Bank and Astana supported Schleck and Contador.
Like the world’s best time trial rider, the world’s fastest time trial wheelset did not disappoint. Riding a Zipp Super-9 disc and 1080 front wheel, Fabian Cancellara won both the 9km prologue in Rotterdam and the 52km Stage 19 outside Bordeaux.
Zipp wishes to congratulate all the riders, staff, and managers of the Astana Cycling Team, Cervélo TestTeam, and Team Saxo Bank on an amazing Tour de France.
Photo (C) Graham Watson