Video: Tour de France tech: Europcar, Euskaltel-Euskadi and BMC

Voeckler's Colnago, Sanchez's Orbea, Hincapie's BMC

Thomas Voeckler's Europcar Colnago C59

Europcar captain Thomas Voeckler is enjoying another stint in the maillot jaune after a six-year hiatus and team sponsors Colnago have suitably outfitted the plucky Frenchman with a yellow C59 Italia. Voeckler's tenure as race leader is more tenuous this time around, though, and assuming he's unable to hold onto his scant advantage it'll be back to his standard team-issue C59 Italia.

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Voeckler's machine differs little from those of his teammates, including the classy metallic green-on-matte-black finish, Campagnolo Super Record 11 group, and an assortment of Campagnolo carbon tubular wheels. Voeckler does, however, stick with his preferred FSA Plasma one-piece integrated carbon fiber handlebar and stem, and like that special yellow frame, the former French national champion also gets custom geometry, with a slightly longer top tube than usual. 

One other thing worth noting: while the rest of Europcar's team bikes are equipped with two Elite water bottle cages, Voeckler's has just one. This means he never has to burden himself with the weight of two full bidons but either he or one of his teammates will have to make a few extra visits to the team car.


How "pro" is Thomas Voeckler of Europcar? Enough that his bike is only fitted with a single bottle cage

Gold, gold and more gold for Euskaltel-Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez

Unlike annual events like national or world championships – or even the Tour de France – Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) gets to bask in the glory of his 2008 Olympic gold medal until next year's Games in London, and judging by the look of his custom Orbea Orca, he's rightfully enjoying his reign.

Sanchez's Orca gets an exclusive black-and-white paintjob in contrast to the team-issue black-and-orange livery plus an array of '8's scattered about the top tube, head tube, down tube and seatstays (plus the full date on the seatstay wishbone) to commemorate the year of his win.

Euskaltel-Euskadi captain samuel sanchez gets this specially decorated orbea orca to celebrate his 2008 olympic gold medal: euskaltel-euskadi captain samuel sanchez gets this specially decorated orbea orca to celebrate his 2008 olympic gold medal

Euskaltel-Euskadi captain Samuel Sanchez gets this specially decorated Orbea Orca to celebrate his 2008 Olympic gold medal

In addition, there's lots and lots of gold. Included in the list of special gold parts are the seatpost collar, KCNC aluminum pulleys on the Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur, KMC chain, Alligator aluminum cable housing, quick-release skewers, and even the handlebar tape. 

Otherwise, Sanchez's bike is business as usual, with a Dura-Ace Di2 group on his main bike and the mechanical version on his spare, an SRM Dura-Ace power meter, a variety of Shimano wheels (including a long-retired aluminum tubular used on one particularly windy stage) and carbon-bodied Shimano SPD-SL pedals, a Selle Italia SLR saddle, Vittoria tubular tires, an FSA cockpit and Elite bottle cages. 

Euskaltel-Euskadi team bikes proudly display the

Euskaltel-Euskadi team bikes proudly display the "Ride for Japan" decal to draw awareness to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster

BMC's quiet celebration of George Hincapie Tour de France milestone

BMC veteran George Hincapie is competing in his 16th Tour de France this year – matching the run held for 25 years by Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk. Hincapie and BMC could justifiably pull out the stops to draw attention to this feat with a special bike for the four-time US national champion but instead, there's simply an understated raised "16" displayed on the top tube of his standard-livery BMC Teammachine SLR01 – something that typically wouldn't even show up on television or in photos.

Aside from that subtle reminder, Hincapie's bike doesn't stand out from its peers. BMC team riders have their choice between Hincapie's SLR01 and the company's latest Impec model but they all share similar builds including Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groups, SRM power meters, Fi'zi:k saddles, Continental tires, Speedplay pedals and Elite cages. Easton provide carbon wheels, bars and stems. 

BMC quietly celebrate team veteran george hincapie's record-matching 16th tour de france: bmc quietly celebrate team veteran george hincapie's record-matching 16th tour de france

BMC quietly celebrate team veteran George Hincapie's record-equalling 16th Tour de France

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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