By Zap

Ah yes, the 2013 Tour de France was a good year.  We bounced around France for ten days shooting as much of the new bike tech as we could while dealing with the stressed & sour Euro team mechanics who cared not one wit about our need to document the pro bikes up close.              


What would the Tour de France be without Mavic’s neutral support? Then again, what would Mavic’s neutral support be without the Tour de France?


Try as they might (and they don’t really), these guys just don’t like each other.


Peter Sagan’s top tube is in honor of The Hulk, but all I see is the Grinch That Stole Christmas!


The rest of Team Cannondale gets the stock paint job on their EVO bikes. The new Vision Metron wheels should be showing up at your local dealer in the fall.


Appropriately enough, of the three different “spines” in the Fizik line of saddles, Sagan relies on the Bull Aliante.


Don’t tell anyone at Trek, but their lead rider for the Tour, Andy Schleck, has opted for a bike with rear suspension. There were three Domane bikes under the RadioShack tent.


Talk about riders having a choice of weaponry, the Garmin team has three different road bikes to choose from (r-l): David Millar’s aero road S5, Dan Martin’s R5 and Ryder Hesjedal’s RCa.


Saw this hitchhiker on board Tommy Danielson’s bike.


In the last year Specialized has done an impressive job making the custom paint jobs of their top riders available to the public. This is the hard to miss bike of Sylvain Chavanel.


Here’s the cool top tube graphic which can also be found on the inside of the fork blades and chainstays. Unlike the worldwide distribution of the Contador frames (200), only 50 Chavanel frames will be available for the French market only.


With so many colors of the rainbow available, it’s a shame the bike industry has to be so predictable as it falls into lock step with fashion trends…yes, another neon green shoe. No info yet, but these new shoes from Bontrager were seen on Matty Goss.


At the beginning of the Tour SRAM was touting Mark Cavendish choosing their new Red Hydro caliper brakes for his Specialized Venge. By Stage 7 he was down to just a rear Hydro and by Stage 8 it was cable-pull brakes front and rear.


As Cavendish rode up to sign-in on Stage 8, he started fussing with his front brake before grabbing a spanner and adjusting them himself. When he couldn’t get it to his liking (he motioned to Andre Greipel that the front wheel had a slight wobble to it) he had the Omega mechanic run back to the truck and fetch a new front wheel.


Being the champ that he is, while he waited for a new wheel, Cavendish calmly walked across the street and started signing autographs.


The Belkin squad (formerly RaboBank and Blanco) has two bikes for their riders to choose from: the proven TCR Advanced and the all new Propel Advanced SL. The latter (l) is visibly different by virtue of it’s less aero tube and fork profiles and the rear mounted front brake. Three levels of a production version will be for sale later this year.


Yeah, as evidenced by the leg extension, the Belkin boys run on the tall side. Both bikes use the integrated seatpost, but the tube shapes are distinctly different and the Propel has much less (if any) of the signature sloping top tube. Giant says the Propel borrows from the Trinity TT bike to make it their official entry in the aero road category.


Hey, look who I ran into before the start of stage 7 in Montpellier. It’s Peter Sagan’s dad who looks decidedly less happy than either me or the Sponge Bob replica dude in the background.


Judging by the partisan scream-fest that took place when Simon Garrans rolled to the start of Stage 5, it’s obvious that Australia has large crowd of enthusiastic fans following the Tour de France. “Go Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!!”


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