Grand Ambitions at Giro
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Pro Cycling and Tinkoff-Saxo each enter this month’s Giro d’Italia with a purpose-built lineup of riders matched with a purpose-built lineup of Zipp wheels, bars, stems and seatposts. The quest for the pink jersey will play out over three weeks (May 9-June 1) in 21 stages covering 3,449.9km.
The Belgian-based powerhouse famously wins Spring Classics and Grand Tour mass sprints. But this year OPQS is aiming for a high Giro GC placing with Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who finished second at last year’s Giro. He’ll be supported by an roster of climbing specialists such as Serge Pauwels and Gianluca Brambilla and veterans including Iljo Keisse and Alessandro Petacchi for the flatlands, narrow roads and sprints.
Expect OPQS to utilize its full quiver of Speed Weaponry, from the lightweight Zipp 202 Tubular in the mountains to the 404 Firecrest to optimize aero efficiency and crosswind stability in the opening stages on the narrow roads of Northern Ireland and Ireland (learn more about the Firecrest Difference). The 188/V9 rear hub, which is used in all 2014 model year Firecrest wheels as well as the 202 Tubular, was developed based on feedback from OPQS’ Mark Cavendish, who rode prototype versions of the hub last season including for his Giro stage victories.
Tinkoff-Saxo, based in Denmark, brings two GC contenders to the Giro, Nicolas Roche and Rafal Majka as well as a supporting cast including Chris Anker Sørensen. Roche rode admirably last year in support of Alberto Contador at the Tour de France and then showed his leadership potential winning a stage and placing fifth overall at the Vuelta a España.
Tinkoff-Saxo likely will rely on the combo of Zipp 808 Firecrest front and Super-9 Disc rear wheel for the crucial opening 21.7km team time trial that opens this year’s Giro in Belfast. Tinkoff-Saxo and OPQS also utilize Zipp Service Course SL bars, stems and seatposts as well as the carbon SL Speed seatpost and SL Sprint carbon stem.
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