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Tech update July 3, 2002
Edited by John Stevenson
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Giant's Tour de France special
Le Tour is always a venue for spotting new kit, from amended team strips to semi-prototype bikes and components. The ONCE-Eroski team will be aboard new Giant carbon bikes on July 6, and while Giant Europe's Tom Davies admits "the changes are mainly cosmetic", they're a pretty droolsome set of cosmetic changes.
As always, ONCE-Eroski will be using Campagnolo components, but with a twist: the aluminium parts of the team's Record OR groups have been anodised black (the carbon parts already are, of course) and finished with gold highlights. Shades of the gold detailing on the fiftieth anniversary groupset!
Interestingly, Davies tells us that only Joseba Beloki will be using the carbon cranks because Campagnolo currently makes them in only a 172.5mm length. This might explain why some eagle-eyed Cyclingnews readers have commented on the apparent lack of these cranks on Campagnolo-sponsored bikes so far this year.
Other special touches for ONCE-Eroski's Tour bikes include Selle Italia gold saddles and TACX gold bottle cages, though neither arrived in time for the photo here.
On the 'things mere mortals can actually buy' shelf, Giant has launched a new range of carbon components: forks, round and aero seat posts, stem and drop handlebar. According to Davies, most of the ONCE-Eroski team will be using these new components in the Tour.
Ritchey makes the Tour
From a company that's been under a Tour team for several years to one that will be making its Tour debut in Luxembourg. Ritchey parts will appear on the Tour start line for the first time this year on the bikes of Credit Agricole and Jean Delatour. Credit Agricole will use Ritchey's WCS handlebar, stem, seatpost and headset, plus Ritchey's new aero bar in the time trial stages. Jean Delatour a late addition to the Tour after the organisers withdrew Saeco's invitation will also use the WCS bar, stem, headset and seatpost.