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Tour de France Tech – July 14, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

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Peter Wrolich's Specialized   Thor Hushovd's Look  Tom Boonen's Time   Stuart O'Grady's Wilier   Robbie McEwen's Ridley

The bikes of the sprinters: Peter Wrolich's Specialized S-Works Roubaix

Peter Wrolich's Specialized S-Works Roubaix.
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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Until recently, Gerolsteiner riders have a choice of two machines from bike sponsor Specialized - the Tarmac and the Roubaix, in the 'factory special' incarnations that Specialized dubs S-Works.

Specialized recently threw another option into the mix with the S-Works Tarmac SL, but most of the team are still using the S-Works Tarmac and Roubaix.

TdF-ready
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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Wrolich says he likes the Roubaix for its comfort and stability, but it's obvious from his results at this Tour that those qualities don't mean the bike is any slower. Of the team's two sprinters - Robert Förster is the other - Wrolich has had the best results in the finales with a second place to Tom Boonen in Tours. However, Förster did win the bunch sprint for third place on the sixth stage to Nancy a few days later.

Specialised's Zertz elastomers
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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The Roubaix is unusual in having a slightly more upright riding position than many of the bike in the peloton and in having elastomer inserts in certain parts of the frame to damp vibration. Wrolich adopted the Roubaix for the Classics - where those qualities are very welcome indeed - and has been riding it ever since.

Gerolsteiner is another team to be equipped by the combination of Shimano and Ritchey. Wrolich's bike is set up with Shimano's cordless Flight Deck computer and Dura-Ace carbon wheels and like so many sprinters, Wrolich uses curved, shallow-drop bars and a long, low Ritchey stem. Seating arrangements are taken care of by Selle italia's Turbo Matic 4 saddle.

Schwalbe tubulars
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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With three of its equipment sponsors making seatposts, we do wonder who that particular spec is decided. A weight shoot-out? Bicycle pumps at dawn? However the decision was made, Wrolich and team-mates mount their saddles on Ritchey's carbon fiber WCS posts.

Photography

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Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com