Peter Sagan's participation at this year's Tour de France was in doubt after he withdrew from the Tour de Suisse with another bout of COVID. But the 32-year-old has recovered in time and is here in Copenhagen for his 11th consecutive Grande Boucle. And he'll be doing it largely aboard a custom painted Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7.
Riding his first Grand Tour in the colours of the TotalEnergies team, his race bike is decked out in a powder blue and red paint scheme that sparkles when the light hits it just right. As a wild card team they'll be hoping to fall under the glare of attention as much as possible.
In the past Sagan has traditionally run a very long and stout Zipp stem decked out in electrical tape to hide the logo, since it is non-sponsor-correct equipment. But it appears now that Sagan has switched over to an equally stout stem from Specialized - likely the US brand's 6-degree integrated Tarmac stem.
Sagan looks to be using Roval's Rapide carbon handlebars, wrapped in Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bartape.
The shift in the professional peloton from tubulars to tubeless continues. Sagan is running Roval Rapide CLX wheels with Specialized S-Works Turbo 700 x 26 tubeless tyres. While teams still have tubulars at the ready - we spotted BikeExchange's new Giant Propel with unreleased Cadex tubs at the team presentation - it’s evident that, for certain stages at least, tubeless now reigns supreme. Note his name on the inside of the forks.
It will be interesting to see what Sagan and his TotalEnergies teammates choose to ride during stage 5, from Lille Métropole to Arenberg Porte Du Hainaut, which features 11 cobbled sectors, some of which feature in Paris-Roubaix. This year's Hell of the North featured plenty of tubeless set-ups and seemingly just as many punctures.
The TotalEnergies team colours help accentuate the proprietary S-Works Tarmac seat post. It appears that Sagan is running the post in the 20mm offset version. He also looks to still favour the S-Works Romin Evo saddle that he used last season while racing for Bora-Hansgrohe.
Sagan and his TotalEnergies team runs 12-speed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
Here, he's running a 53-39 chainring combination on his Dura-Ace chainset. Traditionally Sagan has ridden a 172.5mm crank arm length. As for his gearing choices, he'll be able to test them out early on in the Tour, with sprint finishes most likely on the cards for both stages 2 and 3.
Having once dominated the Green Jersey competition - Sagan won the points GC seven times between 2012 and 2019 - he'll be hoping he can mount another challenge this year. While beating Jumbo-Visma's Wout van Aert will be a tall order, the Slovakian's win on stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse is proof that, on his day, he still has the legs to win a sprint at the highest level.
Like many pro teams, TotalEnergies and Sagan will rely on Tacx bottles and cages to keep them hydrated throughout the race .
One of the reasons for the dominance of this bottle? If a rider drops a bottle and another rider hits it, the lid is designed to pop off easily to reduce the likelihood of a crash.
Given the nervous energy that crackles through the peloton during the first week of the Tour de France anything that can help alleviate a crash or two would seem sensible.
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