Can Alexey Lutsenko secure a top-10 place and save Astana's Tour de France?

The Kazakh GC rider heads into the final week looking for success aboard a Wilier 0 SLR

Alexey Lutsenko's Wilier O SLR is ready for action in the 2022 Tour de France
(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

While Alexey Lutsenko rolled up to the presentation on his 0 SLR, most of his Astana teammates opted for Wilier’s aero bike, the Filante. It was not that surprising given how flat - and windy - the first several stages of the Tour were this year. 

However, heading into the final week of the 108th edition of the race, and with the Pyrenees now in clear view, Lutsenko's likely to log plenty of miles aboard the lightweight 0 SLR. 

Up until now the race has proven difficult for the Astana team, with no stage wins and very little to cheer about in general. In fact, Lutsekno's 8th place on stage 11 which ended on the steep slopes of the Col Du Granon, is their best finish to date. 

However, Lutsenko has been consistent, if not spectacular. He currently sits 12th in the General Classification and will have eyes on not only breaking into the top-10 before Paris, but also to surpass his best ever TdF finish of seventh place, which he achieved last year. His bike has a few custom touches, which the Kazakh rider no doubt hopes will help him achieve his aims.

Cockpit of Alexey Lutsenko\s Wilier 0 SLR

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

The integrated cockpit features some complementary colours to mirror his team kit. The aerodynamic shape of the bar and stem is yet another indication of where bike design is headed: aero bikes and lightweight climbers' bikes are melting into one.

Integrated cockpits usually mean custom mounts for the sponsors' best bike computers. But Lutsenko is in luck: K-Edge makes a computer mount specifically for integrated cockpits. This spoon-shaped, machined mount connects to the underside of the bars via two small bolts.

Detail of Alexey Lutsenko's Wilier 0 SLR race bike

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

The 0 SLR has a unique frame feature at the junction of the seat tube and the top tube. It may look odd, but the function is simple: This is where the seatpost wedge is located. 

Detail of Alexey Lutsenko's Dura-Ace disc brake

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

A Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain for Lutsenko. And of course, Shimano disc brakes. It seems the great disc brake debate has finally settled, and there’s a clear victor.

It's not that long ago when disc brakes faced intense scrutiny in the peloton. Not so anymore. A younger crop of riders now populate the pro ranks, and they grew up on discs. Lutsenko at 29 is of course not one of those, but options for pro-level rim brake bikes are in short supply.

Although Astana's traditionalist wheel sponsor, Corima, is actually still one of those producing them.

Lutsenko's Corima wheels shod with tubular tyres

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

However, with his rubber Lutsenko has reverted to what he knows best. We’ve seen a surprising number of pro team bikes this year eschewing the some of the best tubeless and clincher tyres, instead taking a more traditional approach - sure enough, Lustenko has tubular tires mounted to those Corima wheels. 

Note the CeramicSpeed sticker, which denotes Lutsenko’s wheels are outfitted with fast-spinning CeramicSpeed bearings. 

Lutsenko uses a CeramicSpeed OSPW in the 2022 TdF

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

There are more CeramicSpeed goodies for Lutsenko, this time at the rear derailleur. The CeramicSpeed OSPW system features large pulley wheels that help reduce drivetrain friction by eliminating sharp angles and routing through the derailleur - but the Astana bikes don’t get the latest OSPW Aero version with a fairing over the pulleys that cuts a miniscule amount of wind drag as well as reducing drivetrain friction

Lutsenko's Wilier seatpost and number plate mount ready for the 2022 TdF

(Image credit: Dan Cavallari)

Methods for securing number plates to bikes can vary team to team. Here, Lutsenko’s bike has a metal bracket mounted to the seatpost for easy connection to the plastic number plate. 

Small stickers with numbers (generally either 1 or 2) have cropped up on numerous bikes across teams. This may be an indicator of whether this is a rider’s primary bike or a backup, or it could have something to do with the UCI’s new bike scanning technology. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1