WorldTour teams play bike shuffle
What teams are riding what bikes in the 2014 WorldTour and why is aero still increasingly important?
UCI might take issue with the length of the name.
As stated earlier Alonso is bailing out the Euskaltel-Euskadi team for at least a couple of years. That's a great thing. However, I'm curious why he choose the Spanish team. A couple of years ago the F1 driver was considering starting a cycling team with Alberto Contador, but ultimately it didn't work out. Why not jump into the empty Tinkoff spot on the Saxo Bank jersey for next year and help out a buddy? I'm just speculating here, but I'm wondering if Specialized already has dibs on that spot and therefore no room for Alonso. Sponsoring Euskaltel-Euskadi could also be due to the simple fact that Alonso is Spanish and Euskaltel-Euskadi is from the region. It makes sense to throw his euros to save a Spanish squad rather than a Danish one. Who knows, maybe when Contador's contract expires Pistolero returns to a Spanish team.
Focus bikes is still going to be under the brown shorts of AG2R-La Mondiale for another two years. Signs point to Jelly Belly with reigning US road champion Freddy Rodriguez continuing to ride the German bike in 2014 as well.
One team that is a question mark bike-wise is Argos-Shimano. The team has been aboard Felt bikes, but there are rumors that Giant might be the Dutch squad's bike brand moving forward. This actually holds water as Team Belkin is switching from Giant to Bianchi in 2014. Giant is one of the top three bike companies and having a WorldTour team ride their bikes is almost mandatory. The move to a winning team like Argos-Shimano is smart.
I recently returned from the Felt 2014 product launch and from a technical standpoint riding one of the AR bikes would be smart choice for a team. Like we saw in stage 7 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana, a win can be as narrow as a tire width and a bike as aerodynamic and slippery as the Felt AR could bring that slight winning edge.
Last week Eurobike was in full swing and team owners were huddled in the back room of their equipment sponsors' booths signing the dotted line for the next year and beyond. I'm sure we'll see more bike sponsor details after the show which took place in Germany.
2014 WorldTour teams and their bike sponsors:
Ag2r-La Mondiale: Focus (Continuing through 2015)
BMC Racing Team: BMC
FDJ.fr: Lapierre (Continuing)
Garmin-Sharp: Cervélo (Continuing)
GreenEDGE: Scott (Contract ends in 2014)
Movistar Team: Pinarello
Omega Pharma-Quick Step: Specialized
Belkin Pro Cycling: Bianchi
Team Katusha: Canyon
Trek (Team sponsored by Trek in 2014): Trek
Team Saxo Bank-?: Specialized
Team Sky: Pinarello (continuing)
Aero may not be everything, but it sure is significant. Looking at 2014 model bikes it's easy to see that aerodynamics is a significant part of the design. The reason is easy: modern manufacturers can easily produce a bike that weighs 14 pounds – the UCI minimum for a bike. The only other barrier that bike designers can