This previous Sunday kicked off the primary 8-stage Ladies’s Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. This 12 months the race began in Paris, the place the ladies accomplished loops of the identical principal Parisian circuit as the boys, just like what the ladies have accomplished in La Course over the past decade. After Sunday’s opener, the ladies are working their approach eastwards, in the direction of the Alps, earlier than a end this weekend.
For this publish, I’m specializing in the sports activities tech of the ladies’s groups, simply as I did for the boys’s facet. As chances are you’ll know, I’ve been protecting the geekier facet of the ladies’s peloton for a few years of La Course, Giro, and Tour Down Beneath occasions. Whereas these occasions have had various ranges of WorldTour standing, the truth is all of them had been largely attended by the identical high WorldTour groups.
Merely put – the shift this 12 months in sponsorship cash, and groups’ provisions, is astounding. Within the case of the entire 14 WorldTour Groups, the primary gear, workforce bus, and sponsorship/tools ranges had been close to equivalent. And even within the 10 Continental Groups (basically a barely decrease tier), the gear was typically the identical as properly. It was mind-bogglingly wonderful to see this bounce for the ladies’s groups. Gone are the hodge-podge of unsponsored workforce tools lineups, changed with the most recent top-end gear that the boys even have.
With that, let’s dive into it.
The realm that’s arguably seen the largest bounce is the ability meter scene. In previous years, solely a few groups had constant energy meter methods, with most groups leaving every rider to fend for themselves when it got here to energy meters. This 12 months although, each single workforce had a single set of energy meters throughout their bikes, and apparently, a bit extra variation than the boys’s groups.
For instance, three girls’s groups had pedal based mostly energy meters, whereas no males’s groups had any. After all, as a reminder, that’s purely attributable to sponsorships, and particularly, Shimano sponsorships. Usually talking, Shimano sponsors the vast majority of drivetrains within the peloton, which in flip typically results in inclusion/sponsorship of their R9100P or R9200P energy meters. Nonetheless, with Shimano sponsoring much less girls’s groups than males’s, we see extra selection in energy meters.
And now, the workforce itemizing:
BikeExchange: Shimano R9100P
Canyon-SRAM Racing: SRAM AXS
EF Training-TIBCO-SVB: Power2Max
FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope: Shimano R9200P
Human Powered Well being: SRAM AXS
Jumbo-Visma Ladies: Shimano R9100P
Liv Racing Xstra: SRAM AXS
Movistar Ladies: SRAM AXS
Roland Cogeas-Edelweiss Squad: SRAM AXS
SD Worx: SRAM AXS
Crew DSM: Shimano R9200P
Trek-Segafredo Ladies: SRAM AXS
UAE Crew ADQ: Favero Assioma Duo
Uno-X Professional Biking Crew: Shimano R9100P
AG Insurance coverage NXTG: Garmin Rally pedals
Arkéa Professional Biking Crew: Shimano R9100P
Ceratizit-WNT Professional Biking: FSA PowerBox
Cofidis: SRM (totally different variants)
Le col-Wahoo: Wahoo POWRLINK pedals
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Shimano R9100P
Plantur-Pura: Shimano R9100P
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime: ROTOR INSpider & INPower
St Michel-Auber 93: Phases (left-only)
Valcar Journey Service: FSA PowerBox
It’ll be fascinating to see subsequent 12 months if there’s expansions of girls’s groups on energy meter pedals given what number of groups Wahoo sponsors. And likewise, if maybe Garmin will push groups to make use of their pedals extra (one thing they haven’t actually accomplished to this point).
Bike Computer systems:
Subsequent up are bike computer systems. That is one other space that sees nice enhancements in consistency, in addition to sponsorship. Garmin and Wahoo every sponsor a boatload of girls’s groups, after which that’s rounded out by sponsorships from Phases and Big. Whereas the boys’s facet does embody a Hammerhead Karoo sponsorship (Israel Premier Tech), there wasn’t a girls’s Israel Premier Tech workforce. There are nonetheless SRAM groups, and I’d take a gander that with the SRAM acquisition of Hammerhead earlier this 12 months, that subsequent season we’ll see some or all of these groups transition to Hammerhead Karoo’s.
BikeExchange: Big/Phases M200
Canyon-SRAM Racing: Garmin Edge 530/Edge 1030 Plus
EF Training-TIBCO-SVB: Wahoo BOLT V2 & ROAM
FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope: Garmin Edge 830
Human Powered Well being: Wahoo BOLT V2
Jumbo-Visma Ladies: Garmin Edge 830/130 Plus
Liv Racing Xstra: Garmin Edge 830, Edge 1040 Photo voltaic, Big/Phases M200
Movistar Ladies: Edge 830, Edge 1040 Photo voltaic
Roland Cogeas-Edelweiss Squad: Edge 830, Wahoo BOLT V2, Combined
SD Worx: Garmin Edge 830
Crew DSM: Wahoo BOLT V2
Trek-Segafredo Ladies: Wahoo BOLT V2 & ROAM
UAE Crew ADQ: Wahoo BOLT V2
Uno-X Professional Biking Crew: Edge 530/830
AG Insurance coverage NXTG: Garmin Edge 530
Arkéa Professional Biking Crew: Wahoo BOLT V2
Ceratizit-WNT Professional Biking: Wahoo BOLT V2
Cofidis: Wahoo BOLT V2
Le col-Wahoo: Wahoo BOLT V2
Parkhotel Valkenburg: Wahoo ROAM, Wahoo BOLT V2, SIGMA ROX
Plantur-Pura: Wahoo BOLT V2
St Michel-Auber 93: Phases M200
Valcar Journey Service: Garmin Edge 530
Phew, bought all that? A really stable mix, break up considerably closely on occasion strains between Garmin and Wahoo (like we see for the boys), with just a few Phases/Big sponsorships tossed in for good measure.
Now this coach itemizing may be very a lot not full. Largely as a result of not each workforce used their trainers on Sunday (the opener). For probably the most half, groups use good trainers on time trial phases to heat up, whereas Stage 1 in Paris was an roughly 2-hour lengthy crit. That mentioned, some groups did warm-up briefly on trainers, maybe partially for sponsorship present (as one workforce mechanic talked about to me). Curiously, different groups I talked with considerably ridiculed the concept of warming up for a 2-hour stage with a 5KM impartial begin on a 90°F/32°C day atop a no-shade course on superheated pavement within the searing 2PM solar. Nearly all groups pre-race had been sporting both cooling vests, or just sports activities bras and jerseys filled with ice packs.
One notable right here is that Jumbo-Visma, Garmin/Tacx sponsored groups had Tacx Increase trainers, the lowest-end mannequin that Tacx makes. Whereas the boys have Tacx NEO 2T trainers (the highest-end mannequin they make). Garmin/Tacx does provide the girls’s workforce with NEO 2T’s, nonetheless, in speaking with one of many mechanics they mentioned they used the Increase trainers on the Tour as a result of they had been lighter (and presumably took up much less area). Whereas the ladies’s groups do have full-size buses, they don’t have fairly as many secondary autos as the boys, and thus have much less area to distribute that tools round. In the meantime, for the opposite Tacx Increase workforce, Liv Racing isn’t listed as both a Garmin or Tacx sponsored workforce, so appears like they simply picked them up themselves.
In any case, for the complete itemizing for these groups that had been on the market warming up:
EF Training-TIBCO-SVB: Wahoo KICKR V5/2020
FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope: Elite Suito
Jumbo-Visma Ladies: Tacx Increase
Liv Racing Xstra: Tacx Increase + Curler
Roland Cogeas-Edelweiss Squad: Elite Suito-T
Crew DSM: Elite Suito-T
Uno-X Professional Biking Crew: Tacx NEO 2T
Arkéa Professional Biking Crew: Elite Suito
Ceratizit-WNT Professional Biking: Wahoo KICKR V5/2020
Cofidis: Elite Direto XR
Le col-Wahoo: Wahoo KICKR V5/2020
Plantur-Pura: Suggestions Sports activities Omnium
St Michel-Auber 93: Elite Qubo
With that – I’ll comply with up within the subsequent publish with some extra common ideas from Stage 1, together with just a few images (okay, possibly a variety of images), out on the course, in addition to earlier than/afterwards.
Thanks for studying!