Is this the prototype Colnago that will win the 2022 Tour de France?

Sharper new bike for Pogacar's UAE Emirates team to be raced as of this weekend in preparation for the Tour

Colnago Prototipo side-on shot in an industrial space
(Image credit: Colnago)

Colnago has unveiled a brand new race bike that UAE Team Emirates riders will have at their disposal from this weekend.

The Colnago Prototipo - it's not clear if this is its final name - will be available alongside the Colnago V3RS, the bike that Tadej Pogacar has ridden for each of his two Tour de France wins, with the aim of helping him to his third yellow jersey.

Colnago says the Prototipo is still in development and is not yet available to buy, with no indication as to when it will be (or price details).

For the project the Italian brand has brought in the Norwegian designer Torgny Fjeldskaar, who has led design teams at Cannondale and BMC and has the original SystemSix and the Teammachine in his portfolio. Some of Fjeldskaar’s signature features are clearly visible in the design of the new Colnago, such as the angular head tube compared to the V3RS’s more traditional shape.

Colnago Prototipo front triangle

(Image credit: Colnago)

According to Colnago, the project has involved a completely new method of construction in which the new Colnago C68, launched earlier this year (opens in new tab), has been used as a test mule. The Prototipo is a monocoque frame, but Colnago says it was able to test different layups of carbon-fibre for some parts of the Prototipo on the parts that make up the C68 frame, which is modular and made up of separate parts rather than a monocoque.

Colnago Prototipo rear triangle

(Image credit: Colnago)

Colnago says being able to work on parts of a frame instead of a complete frame, as a designer normally would for a monocoque, allowed it to study different layups of the carbon tubes with “a much more agile and verifiable sequence in a shorter timeframe,” meaning it could get results much faster.

The Italian brand has selected five final versions to be tested by the UAE Emirates team, and it’s these five prototypes that they’ll be racing on from tomorrow, with the aim of arriving at a final version that will be sold in the future. 

Colnago Prototipo head tube

(Image credit: Colnago)

Although Colnago hasn’t supplied any details about the new bike’s performance, weight, stiffness and aerodynamics compared to the V3RS, it looks sharper and more aerodynamic with a more profiled head tube, which Colnago describes as “thin and hollowed with deep and marked veins.”

Colnago Prototipo seat tube

(Image credit: Colnago)

The seat tube-seatstay junction also looks more angular.

The cockpit the team will use looks to be the Deda Alanera one-piece bar/stem rather than the new CC.01 design that was debuted with the C68.

Although it’s hard to make exact comparisons, the bottom bracket area is larger and more robust; confirmed by Colnago.

Colnago Prototipo front triangle cropped

(Image credit: Colnago)

The geometry is likely to be similar to that of the V3RS but looking at pictures there seems to be a little more clearance between front wheel and the down tube - though of course this measurement changes according to size.

Tyre clearance doesn't appear to have been increased, however.

We’ve asked Colnago for more information and for figures relating to the new bike’s performance compared with the existing one, so watch this space.

Yesterday Colnago launched an 'Italian lifestyle' bike with luxury footwear brand Tod's (opens in new tab): today it's back to the serious business of winning the Tour de France.

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