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2002 Tour de France bikes pt. 3

Tour bikes: Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five

By Paul Mirtschin

European editor Tim Maloney and all round handy guy Christopher Henry are still wandering around "Tour Central" where they are snapping shots off of the hottest bikes in the peloton. Some of these are team specials, and of those, some might just make it into production for the 2003 season and beyond. But all of them are expensive and very droolworthy.

Not quite as orange as last year's frame, the Euskaltel-Euskadi Team Orbea still reminds me of a big jar of Cheese Wizz. Welded from Columbus Airplane tubing this bike has a few fans here in the office. Once again fitted with the ITM Millennium bars and stem and a Dura-Ace group, pedals and post. Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL wheels roll on Vittoria CX rubber and a Selle Bassano Boxter saddle keeps things as comfortable as possible.

Dario Frigo's Tacconi Sport-Tonello Carrera Team Bike. Another aluminium frame incorporating carbon fiber seat and chain stays, this time a Dedaccai U2. Mizuno carbon forks attached to ITM Millennium stem and bars deal with the steering, and a Dura-Ace group makes the Shimano Dura-Ace hubs & Fir rims roll around. Selle Italia Turbomatic saddle, a Selcof carbon fiber seatpost and Michelin Pro Race rubber round out the package.

The AG2R Prevoyance Decathlon Penta Racing bike doesn't have any flashy graphics and doesn't use any weird space age materials for the frame. Made in Italy for the French sporting goods chain, it takes a Deda tubed frame and Time Avant carbon forks and is yet another bike with with ITM Millennium bars and stem. The Campagnolo name litters the group, while the wheels are Decathlon's own Penta Aero 20 wheels.

Dubbed the Daddy Yo-Yo, this is Lance Armstrong's custom Project One bike. Under the custom paint job is a lightweight Trek 5900 frame. Shimano supply the shiny bits of course. Lance only managed to complete part of stage one on the Daddy Yo-Yo before a mechanical relegated it to the roof of the support car.

And here's Miguel "Mini Mig" Martinez's Mapei-Quick Step Colango C-40 B Stay, complete with the usual airbrush-madness paintjob that we have come to expect with the Mapei/Colnago bikes. The Colnago name also appears on the forks (carbon fiber Star) and the bars and stem (ITM). Dura-Ace group, hubs and post give the Shimano "Look style" pedals and Selle San Marco Squadra saddle a place to hang off. Ambrosio Excellence rims and Michelin Pro Race clinchers keep the "Mini Mig" rolling.

Another Colnago C-40 B Stay, this time belonging to Rabobank's Karsten Kroon. Also running the Star forks and ITM Millennium bars and stem, this C-40 rolls on FIR Antares wheels with Vittoria CX Corsa Tubulars. Karsten gets personal with the Selle San Marco Era which is sitting on a Dura-Ace post.