Tour de France Tech Gallery: Bike set-ups for stage 5′s cobblestones

Photo Gallery Tour de France

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On a rain soaked day that marked the 100th anniversary of the first World War, the Tour de France saw its first truly decisive stage during the menacing 155.5km run from Ypres to Arenburg Porte du Hainaut, which included seven teeth-rattling cobblestone roads. (Originally there was nine, but organizers removed two particularly tough sections due to safety concerns raised by the wet weather.)

Tops on the list of casualties was defending Tour champion Chris Froome. The Team Sky leader crashed twice early in the race and dropped out, ending his run at a second Tour title. Dozens of other riders also hit the deck on a day that threw the race into chaos. Before the battle kicked off, RoadBikeReview was at the start scooping out the various equipment changes and modifications teams made, hoping to take some of the sting out of this testing day.

STAGE 5 TECH PHOTOS

europcar-levers

In what was the most extreme insurance measure spotted, Europcar team bikes all had extra handlebar mounted brakes so riders could stay on the tops and still have stopping power.


belken-stem

Riders on Team Belkin used a fairly rudimentary method of keeping track of the day’s main obstacles.


breche-tires

Riders on the Bretagne-Séché Environnement team benefited from the extra squish provided by these Challenge Paris Roubaix edition tubular tires.


cannondale-chain-catcher

With most WorldTour bikes coming in under the UCI weight limit, add-ons like this chain catcher on Ted King’s cobbles bike help mechanics stay within the rules. But on days such as stage 5 they’re a necessity anyway.


contador-post

Tinkoff-Saxo leader Alberto Contador opted to run this ride smoothing Specialized CG-R carbon seatpost atop his Specialized Roubaix bike.


contador-tape

Like most riders, Alberto Contador opted for an extra wrap of bar tape to help cushion the blow of the cobbles.


46-tooth-katusha

Apologies for the blurriness, but look close and you’ll see that this team Katusha bike is using a 46-tooth inner chainring. Mechanics we spoke to said that they don’t expect the front derailleur to get used much anyway, so the inner ring is more of a chain catcher than anything else. This gearing set-up was nearly universal across the Tour de France peloton.

HOW TO RIDE THE COBBLES VIDEO

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Continue to Page 2 for more stage 5 tech photos »
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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