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Tour Tech: The Road Machines
One week ago today we were all looking forward to a certain style of Tour de France; the events of last Thursday and Friday changed everything. The riders who will be grabbing the glory may have changed but the velos that will do the biz are pretty-much the same. Pez checks-out the steeds of the top contenders…

Denis Menchov's , Rabobank, Colnago
When the ‘original’ 2005 Vuelta winner Roberto Heras was de-classed for drugs violations, the title went to second place Menchov, who now looks to be serious threat to the maillot jaune.

Colnago stay "classic” with the c-50 line and dispense with the curvy swervy to give Menchov and the Chicken the Timeless look. Dura Ace still looks a bit out of place on some of Italy's finest, but the stuff performs like clockwork and money talks in the sponsor’s game...

Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, Specialized
Levi took the Dauphine with some style and he has made a Grand Tour podium before – the Vuelta in 2001. But there's Tour competition and then there's everything else...

Mountain bike manufacturers turned roadie-builder, Specialized are traveling the same road as Trek did and know that Tour glory means big sales hikes.

A 180 switch from the style that Colnago Bring, Specialized roll out a function-form cruiser that has that "futuristic look". It's made from something their Specialized call "FACT 10r", but Levi might need the marketing guys to roll out the 11r for the Alps. Smooth rigs all round though.

George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, Trek
The Disco-boys got their new toys for the Giro, and they still look fresh.

Trek have also dispensed with the special twisty this and that, dropping the non-functional hump in the seat tube and keeping it clean.

Also clean relative to Paris Roubaix is George... We'll be hoping he can get some places back toward the yellow, and a stiffer, lighter, cleaner bike won't hurt.

Cadel Evans, Lotto, Ridley
Cadel’s excellent win at the 2006 Tour of Romandie, based on a stunning time trial victory but his performance so far has us wondering if trying for Green won't be the death of the Lotto overall hopes.

Ridley has built a big brand from nowhere in recent years. Dig the fly-thru, graphics and sculptured tubes. What's neat about the Ridleys is the closer you get the more frame shape details you tend to pick up on (although over the top paint can sometimes hide shapes).

It's tough to note for sure exactly what seat post maker pissed in the oats of some of today's frame makers. That's one of the few things that could have caused a few manufacturers to both move to a larger seat clamp, and the weight that goes with it, further up the bike where you can feel it a bit more (never mind the whole "cut your frame to size" thing). There's some weight savings involved and once we get comments from Giant, Look, Ridley and a couple more, you'll see it posted.

Iban Mayo, Euskaltel, Orbea
Iban (Lazarus) Mayo was risen in this year’s Dauphine, he’s been in the wilderness for a few years now but after that stage win he was looking good.

The nickname might change to Iban "Champagne" Mayo though, as the cork popped big again at this year’s tour, and his bottle is empty again. You can see our reviews of their Orca and Opal for a better look at Orbea's models.

Michael Albasini, Liquigas, Bianchi
Celeste is the classic Bianchi colour and apart from a silver panel on the top tube it’s un-corrupted on this model. Matching leather tape is cool and we like the carbon seat stay detailing.

Bianchi have a few new bikes for 07 though (catch a peak here, which are a big step forward in their carbon designs, and as long as they remember their celestial roots, we’ll be happy.

Andreas Kloden, T-Mobile, Giant
Dare we say it? Kloden might have been happy to see Jan hit the skids, but he's probably popped an eye at the new kid on the block.

Giant are always trying to move the goal posts, lighter, stronger and more comfortable and now working with SRM on telemetry. The colour scheme is cool, we like the 70’s six-day-bike clearances and a sweet back end.

Like the Ridley, they go with the ‘get it right or trash it seat tube’ for some, but then we might just be pissing in the wind at what will be a trend that everyone loves.

Christophe Moreau, AG2R, B2win (Decathlon)
The big guy with the easy manner and spiky hair has found himself this year after leaving CA.

Decathlon have rolled into the all Carbon trend with some of the team rigs. They've been a great Euro Brand that needs (and deserves) a spot in North America, with a pretty sweet line up.

Aussie, Simon Gerrans tells us they are great to ride and even-lighter frames will be arriving in time for the mountain stages.

Carlos Sastre, CSC, Cervelo
The small Spaniard with the big lungs and the Zipp-clad Cervelo's will be hard to miss throughout the Tour (Jens Voigt will see to that as well).

Also damn hard to miss is Carlos’ R3, we like the whole package – colour scheme, ovalized seat stays, box girder chain stays and the sweet cranks that get matched up. It's a shame Ivan is not here, but then we don't know if it's a shame or not yet, do we...

Floyd Landis, Phonak, BMC.
The hard-man with wins in the 2006 Tours of Georgia and California, plus Paris-Nice, has to be on the podium now barring disasters...

This year they have lost the external lugs but the bike didn't lose any of its character. Funk in design has this thing sticking out, but what happened to the Phonak Colored rigs?! Check out our review on the BMC SLC01 here ,

You might also note the riser stem on the bike. No it's not Aerodynamic, but it is "Hip" so to speak, as his geometry needs are simply a bit different.

Gilberto Simoni, Saunier Duval-Prodir, SCOTT

And a final Pez-Worthy mention – the Scott CR-1 team bikes showed off a distinct advantage in saddle covers…

David Millar’s spare bike riding high on the team car.


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