Lapierre supported the FDJ team with all three of their performance road bikes, including the recently introduced SL versions of the Aircode and Xelius.
Introduced last year, the Aircode received a 110g diet this summer to create the 2016 Aircode SL. The Kammtail air foil shapes and overall stiffness remain the same, it’s just lighter. The black and red team replica paint schemes are shown just behind the team-only blue and white. But it’s the custom metallic blue paint scheme for Arnaud Démare’s Xelius SL that’s the real eye grabber…
The Xelius SL was completely revamped this summer and is an entirely new bike from its predecessor. Using a split seatstay that bypasses the seat tube to improve compliance and save weight.
The triple triangle design and thin tubes give the bike a sleek look that should be both comfortable and fast – it’s geometry is based off the race bikes.
Démare’s bike was painted in a beautiful deep sparkly blue that matched the metallic blue on one of their team cars (check out that car, Team Sky’s Jaguars and others in this post).
While he may have had the prettier bike, teammate Thibaut Pinot fended off attacks and gravity to take the legendary Alpe d’Huez win on Stage 20, helping redeem an otherwise unspectacular race this year.
For the time trial stages they used the Aerostorm TT/Triathlon bikes.
Across the range, they were running full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groups and PRO components,
TEAM EUROPCAR COLNAGO
For the TT stages, Team Europcar raced the Colnago K:Zero bike, which debuted in 2012.
The bikes use a very smooth rear brake cover under the bottom bracket…
…but the stem cover to hide the cables and wires looked about as rough here as it did on the preproduction models we spotted three years ago!
The bikes were kitted out with Deda components and Campagnolo wheels and drivetrains.
For the standard road stages, the teams had the latest C60 and Ferrari-developed V1-R bikes at their disposal. The apparatus above was mounted to Voeckler’s bike to capture live footage during the prologue section of Stage Two.
A GoPro was connected to a transmitter to relay live on-bike footage as the riders made their way from the Tour Village to the official start a short distance away. At that point, team mechanics said he’d change bikes.
The transmitter was powered by four AA batteries bundled together, and the entire apparatus was Velcro’d and zip tied to the seatpost.
Colnago was among the first major road brands to start experimenting with disc brakes, hacking together Campy EPS systems with road-going Formula calipers. If the team decides to start testing disc brakes later this year, they’ll have a production disc brake-equipped (though not with Campy as far as we know) C60 and CXzero to roll on.