Popovych didn?t really have the best Tour de France nor was he able to hang with his team leader long enough to be of much help in the mountains. Riding an almost identical Ridley Helium to Evans, Popovych?s bike is set up specifically for the Russian climber.

Ridley?s Helium is the lightest frame in the line up and against Robbie McEwen?s latest Noah is a featherweight. With what could be described as run-of-the-mill componentry in the pro peloton, Popovych?s bike weighed in at 6.8kg with the help of small weights added to the inside of the seat clamp – as Evans’ bike also did – to meet the UCI weight limit regulations that the French Federation continued to follow at the race.

Yaroslav Popovych?s Ridley Helium bike

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Resculpting has saved weight.

The Helium was revamped at the beginning of this year and lost weight but gained stiffness thanks to Ridley carefully re-sculpted the frame at the bottom bracket and head tube.

Beefing up the front end there is now the monster, 1-1/8in. to 1-1/2in. steerer tube. Large diameter round tubes form the frame of the Helium rather than the aero shape that many are now adopting and help to keep the weight off. Ridley claims a weight of 900g for a size medium.

The Campagnolo Record Ultra 10-speed groupset.

As with most of the Lotto squad, Popovych was riding a regular Campagnolo Record Ultra 10 groupset with a harder spring to actuate the shift. The new 11 speed group is so new and in limited numbers that it was likely that team leaders Evans and McEwen where offered first refusal.

Wheel choice was varied for Popovych, with the option of either a pair of deep section Campagnolo Bora Ultra?s or the lighter Hyperon Ultra?s for the mountains.

As with Garmin-Chipotle, Lotto use 26.0mm Oval bars to keep the frontal area low as they smaller diameter bars are claimed to be as stiff as the 31.8mm alternatives.