By Stefan Abram published
Thanks to a collaboration between ASO, the race organiser of the Tour de France and the iconic Italian bicycle manufacturer, Colnago, 2021 sees the launch of the “first official bicycle in the history of the Tour de France”.
Only 108 units will be produced, to match the number of editions of the Tour de France from its beginnings in 1903 right up until today – with the most recent Tour even being won aboard a Colnago by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
“We are very happy to have found a licensee in Colnago which is part of the history of the Tour de France,” said Laurent Lachaux, ASO Head of Commercial. “As Colnago bikes are universally recognized as amongst the most technical and well-designed in the world, we could not have opted for a better choice.”
But although Colnago can boast 63 World Championship wins and victory in 22 Grand Tours across its 69-year history, perhaps surprisingly, the first time one of Ernesto’s bikes reached the top spot of the Tour de France podium was in 2007, under the stewardship of Danish rider, Michael Rasmussen.
Colnago V3Rs TdF
Naturally, the yellow that distinguishes the leader of the Tour’s General Classification features prominently on the frame, gracing the forks, down tube, top tube, and the right-hand brake lever.
The Tour de France logo features on the forks and top tube, with the model number out of 108 printed on the side. At the junction between the seatstays and the seat tube is an outline of France in yellow, with a reminder of Colnago’s part in the 2020 victory.
With an Italian frame, it’s only right that most of the components should be Italian too. To that end, Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc 12-speed groupset is specced alongside the Bora Ultra WTO DB wheels with C-LUX finish.
Although Colnago hasn’t yet won a Grand Tour with a disc equipped bike, that could very well change this year, with UAE Team Emirates having made the switch and Tadej Pogačar holding a second maillot jaune firmly in his sights.
Continuing the Italian theme, the handlebar is the Deda Elementi ALANERA DCR (with Deda internal cable routing) monocoque in carbon fibre, while the saddle is the SLR Boost Carbon Superflow from Selle Italia.
This pattern doesn’t extend to the tyres, however. As an official licensee of the Tour de France, German brand Continental takes precedence here and the Continental Grand Prix 5000 tyres in their tubeless casing are specced here.
The suggested retail price is £11,090 / $16,399 / 13,200€ – which is actually less than an off-the-peg Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 with SRAM Red eTap AXS. As limited-edition bikes go, that makes this one actually surprisingly competitive.
Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20. Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually, to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.
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