Campagnolo and Shimano take their battle to the streets
After months of speculation, rumour and prototyping, both Campagnolo’s new 11-speed Record and Shimano’s new Dura-Ace 7900 production groupsets have found their way into the peloton… but just barely.
A team of Shimano engineers delivered the bubble-wrapped packages to the Rabobank squad just before the start in Brest and the other sponsored teams were equipped not much earlier. A total of sixty kits were delivered and Shimano left it up to the teams to decide which of their riders would use them for the big show.
In contrast, Campagnolo has just seven riders the peloton aboard its latest Record 11-speed groupsets. Aussie sprinter Robbie McEwen was the designated guinea pig for Silence-Lotto and all three of his new Noah frames have been equipped.
In addition to the one he is riding on any particular day, each team car will carry one up top just in case he gets a rear puncture, which suggests that the Mavic neutral service crews aren’t equipped with the new cassettes just yet. The other six lucky riders are: Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), Stijn Devolder (Quick Step), Laurent Lefevre (Bouyges Telecom) and Maxime Monfort (Cofidis).