Zipp News

Back 6.27.2013

Battling for yellow and green

Two teams. Two superstars.

One wheel provider.

Zipp is proud to have two of its partner teams – Omega Pharma--Quick-Step and Team Saxo-Tinkoff – competing in the 100th Tour de France, which begins Saturday in Corsica and ends July 21 in Paris.

The 21 stages include seven flat stages for the sprinters and four summit finishes that feature two of the Tour’s most legendary climbs -- Stage 15’s ascent of Mount Ventoux and Stage 18’s two climbs of Alpe-d’Huez. The riders also face two individual time trials and one team time trial.

Just as teams plan their strategy for each stage, they also must plan their wheel selection for each day. Riders select their wheels for the day based on many factors including wind conditions, terrain and individual responsibilities for the day. A rider expected to get into a breakaway or set pace at the front may opt for a deeper, more aerodynamic rim. Zipp also provides the two teams with its full line of pro-proven bars, stems and seatposts.

Here’s a look at some of the key riders and their possible wheel choices:

Team Saxo-Tinkoff
Leader:Alberto Contador (Prefers 202 Tubular)
Team strategy: Guide Contador in his quest for the Maillot Jaune (general classification yellow leader’s jersey)
Key riders and possible wheel selections:

  • 2013 Amgen Tour of California runner-up Michael Rogers is fond of the 303 Firecrest because of its versatility on flat or hilly courses. 
  • Another fan of the 303 Firecrest is Roman Kreuziger, who won this year’s Amstel Gold race aboard the durable and fast wheelset. 
  • Expect these and other team members such as Nicolas Roche and Sergio Paulinho to ride the lightweight 202 Tubular in crucial mountain stages, or 404 Firecrest while battling to keep Alberto well positioned in the pack.

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
Leader: Mark Cavendish (Prefers 404 Firecrest or 404 Firecrest / 808 Firecrest combo)
Team strategy: Protect Cav from the wind until final 100 meters as he fights for sprint victories and the Maillot Vert (points classification green leader’s jersey)
Key riders and possible wheel selections:

  • Expect veterans Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra to ride a mix of wheels that likely will include a heavy dose of the do-it-all 404 Firecrest as they fight to keep Cav at the head of the scrum. 
  • For leadouts, Belgian strongman Gert Steegmans will look for every aero advantage, which could include the 82mm deep 808 Firecrest.
  • World time trial champ Tony Martin will, no doubt, be a difference maker in the time trials, likely rolling on his favorite 808 Firecrest / Super-9 Disc combo. He’s sometimes opted to ride Carbon Clinchers in races against the clock for reduced rolling resistance.

Follow @ZippSpeed on Twitter and Zipp on Facebook throughout the Tour for updates and photos