Zipp boosts presence at Tour de France
This year’s Tour de France marks Zipp’s biggest-ever presence at the world’s biggest bicycle race. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team and Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank will rely on Zipp’s diverse line of purpose-built wheels for the grueling three-week race, which starts Saturday in Liege, Belgium.
In addition, the two teams will -- for the first time at the Tour de France – ride Zipp’s bars, stems and seatposts. Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Team Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank also will be riding the all-new SRAM RED-2012 drive trains.
Just as the Tour places the most extreme demands on riders, so it does also on equipment. Consider all that this year’s Tour encompasses: One prologue and 20 stages, covering 3,497 km (2,173 miles) June 30 through July 22. Here are a few potentially key stages, along with some riders and Zipp products to watch:
Saturday, June 30 – Prologue, 6.4km in Liege, Belgium
Course: Flat, technical, fast.
Possible Zipp gear: Super-9 Disc on rear and 808 Firecrest or 404 Firecrest on front.
Riders to watch: Tony Martin, Levi Leipheimer of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step; Michael Mørkøv from Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.
Monday, July 2 – Stage 2, 207.5 km from Vise to Tournai
Course: Flat, a sprinter’s delight.
Possible Zipp gear: 404 Firecrest or combo 404 Firecrest front-808 Firecrest rear; Service Course SL and Service Course CSL bars and stems for control and handling in sprint.
Riders to watch: Juan José Haedo and Jonathan Cantwell of Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.
Tuesday, July 3 – Stage 3, 197 km from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer
Course: Six climbs over 100 km could prompt early skirmish among favorites or save opportunists.
Possible Zipp gear: 303 Firecrest or 404 Firecrest, SLSpeed carbon post for lightweight and fit.
Riders to watch: Sylvain Chavanel, Levi Leipheimer, Peter Velits and of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step; Chris Anker Sørensen, Nicki Sørensen and Karsten Kroon of Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.
Thursday, July 12 – Stage 11, 148 km from Albertville to La Toussuire – Les Sybelles
Thursday, July 19 – Stage 17, 143.5 km from Bagneres de Luchon to Peyragudes
Course: Mountains, lots of mountains! Summit finishes.
Possible Zipp gear: 202 wheels, Tangente Platinum Pro Brake Pad, Service Course CSL, Levi’s bar of choice because of its fit, access to control levers.
Riders to watch: Levi Leipheimer, Peter Velits of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Chris Anker Sørensen and Sérgio Paulinho of Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.
Friday, July 19 – Stage 19, 53.5 km from Bonneval to Chartres
Course: Flat time trial, crucial showdown on penultimate day.
Possible Zipp gear: Super-9 and 808 Firecrest, aero when you need it most.
Riders to watch: Levi Leipheimer, Tony Martin, Bert Grabsch of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step and Michael Mørkøv of Saxo Bank – Tinkoff Bank.
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