By Symon Lewis
As announced on Twitter it looks that Groupama-FDJ will be using a brand new bike from the French brand Lapierre ahead of the 101st Giro d'Italia this year.
The new bike has Xelius SL written on the top tube but on face value looks to have borrowed a number of aspects from number of bikes in Lapierre range. Eagle eyed viewers can see an Aircode looking head tube, seat tube and seatpost whilst you get a similar cut out at the rear end as the Xelius, which looks to be bigger and more exaggerated than its 2017 version.
The Xelius SL is what the climbers use mostly at the Grand Tours, being Lapierre's comforting and lightweight racing bike. So it looks like Lapierre hopes to get some aerodynamic efficiency in the frame without effecting the weight or comfort of the bike.
We have press shots from two bikes one belonging to Georg Preidler and the other, of course, belongs to Thibaut Pinot, who has specific graphics along his top tube to denote his major wins during his career, with major climbs and heights in meters alongside them.
As expected you see full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 throughout, along with deep carbon wheels, apart from Pinot's SRM chainset. Both riders have Prologo looking after the saddle and Elite supplying the bottles and cages.
The Lapierre Xelius SL is a striking bike mostly thanks to that unique rear end. Lapierre says this is to help comfort levels and joining the rear stays directly to the top tube helps eliminate all the vibration from the road straight into the bike rather than the rider and it doesn't change the aspect of how the bike rides.
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