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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Pro Team Tech 2004

Reviewed June 16, 2004

Iban Mayo's Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea TT climbing prototype

Photo ©: Tim Maloney

Can't hold the Mayo

On the much-anticipated fourth stage of the Dauphiné Libéré, there was no holding back among the best riders in the race as they set off to complete a 21.6 kilometre ride against the clock up the fearsome climb of Le Mont Ventoux. Tim Maloney takes a look at the race-winning machine - Iban Mayo's Orbea TT climbing prototype.

Rear triangle detail
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
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A featherlight cockpit
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Drilled-out pulley cage
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When Iban Mayo rode this unique Orbea climbing bike to victory atop le Mont Ventoux in a time of 55 minutes and 52 seconds, the tenacious Basque mountain man not only surpassed American Jon Vaughters' previous TT record on the mountain by almost a minute, he also retook the lead in the race, maintaining his advantage all the way to the finish in Grenoble three days later.

Specially made for Mayo and weighing in right on the UCI limit, Mayo's uphill only rig features Columbus Starship TIG-welded aluminum tubing with a special ultra-tight rear triangle configuration, including an inclined and indented seat tube that places the rear wheel closer to the bottom bracket. According to the Euskaltel mechanic, the tighter geometry enhances Mayo's climbing efficiency, of utmost importance in an uphill race against the clock.

The Mont Ventoux time trial certainly provided a great test-bed for the Stage 16 L'Alpe d'Huez time trial at the upcoming Tour de France, and based on Mayo's success on this bike at the Dauphiné, the Orbea prototype is sure to be seen on the start ramp in Bourg d'Oisans on July 21. Don't look too close with its sloping geometry, though - otherwise you might mistake it for a mountain bike!


Images by Tim Maloney/Cyclingnews

Full specification

Frame: Orbea TT protoype, Columbus Starship aluminium tubing
Fork: Orbea carbon
Colour: Euskaltel-Euskadi

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed 172.5mm/53x39
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace 13-23

Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium SL SSC Triple
Tyres: Hutchinson Tubulars, 21mm

Stem: ITM 'The Stem' magnesium, 130mm
Bars: ITM Unika carbon fibre
Headset: Shimano Dura-Ace

Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace
Seat post: Shimano Dura-Ace
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite Gel