It seems strange that a historic bicycle company such as Colnago never won the Tour de France until 2020. But here we are. Yes, Eddy Merckx won on a frame built by Mr Colnago but it was branded as a Merckx. This win is different. It’s special. This win cements the V3-Rs in the Colnago Hall of Fame next to the Carbiturbo, the C40, the C50, the Extreme Power, and the C59.
Not only did Pogacar break the 5 year Pinarello stranglehold, he did it using a mixture of rim and disc brake setups as well as tubeless tires, marking the first time either of these technologies have been used to win the world’s biggest bike race.
The V3-Rs is the third iteration of Colnago’s monocoque carbon, do-it-all frames. Lighter, stiffer, more aerodynamic, an updated geometry (lower bottom bracket for greater stability) and more compliance, Colnago’s head engineer called it “the bike that can do almost anything”. It’s snappy, comfortable and an utter joy to ride.
Pogacar used a mixture of rim and disc brake setups, opting for the former on the final stage as well as hilly ones.
The rim brake version weighs 780g, fits 28mm tires, and uses direct mount brakes for extra braking power. The disc brake frame is a similar weight, fits up to 30mm tires, and features fully internal cable routing to maximize aerodynamics.
Campagnolo was the first to market with 9,10,11, and 12 speed groupsets. And the 12 speed cassette fits that same 9 speed hub body. The shifting is immaculate, the levers are friendly, the bearings spin forever, and the style is simply sensational.
The bike’s cranks were fitted with a Stages power meter except for the Planche des Belles Filles time trial where Pogacar famously only ran a computer to keep the bike above the UCI minimum weight of 6.8kgs/14.9 lbs.
Like all riders, Pogacar used a wide range of different gear ratios. On the super steep Col de La Loze finish, Pogacar reportedly used a 36-32. It gets crazier; according to the team director, he used a cassette for junior racing for the final climb in the TT. The junior cassette was a 14-29 but, cruicully, the middle 18-25 cogs only had 1 tooth jumps.
A perfect compliment to the groupset, Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates chose their Campagnolo Bora wheels to fit the stage profile and personal preference. From the WTO 60s on flat stages to the Ultra 35s when the road tipped up, wheel choice was also utilized to reach the UCI minimum weight.
As mentioned before, this is the first time a rider has won the Tour de France on tubeless tires. Similar to his use of disc brakes, Pogacar didn’t use tubeless every day, opting for Vittoria tubulars on big mountain days. But when he did, he rode Vittoria Corsa Speed 2.0 TLRs, a tubeless tire with cotton casing that most closely mimics the supple nature of tubulars.
Both Roglic and Pogacar opted to use one piece cockpits instead of the traditional bar and stem, even on climbing stages. Why? The combination bar provides added stiffness, aerodynamics, and comfort. The Deda Alanera DCR handlebar also routes cables internally, so, when paired with the V3R-S disc, there are none visible.
The Scratch M5 embraces the short nosed saddle trend. It’s shape is comfortable in a number of positions and doesn’t skimp on padding - an important factor for long hours in the saddle. With a carbon base that acts as a vibration dampener, it’s not surprising that Pogacar chose the M5.
For the final stage into Paris, the yellow Colnago V3R-s received a set of yellow Keo’s, identical to the pair that Pogacar’s teammate used after winning the first stage. While these aren’t available (yet), the Leo Keo Blade Carbon ceramic pedals have been a favorite due to their ease of use, stability, and longevity.
A Stages power meter can be paired with any ANT+ device, Pogacar and UAE Team Emirates use the company’s head unit as well. Unlike most things about the Tour de France winning bike, the Stages Dash M50 is available at a lower price point than its competitors. It can also be mounted in landscape or portrait mode although we only saw Pogacar use it in the latter.
All told, the Tour de France champion’s Colnago V3R-S weighed 6.8kgs/14.9lbs and the disc version 150 grams heavier at 6.95kgs/15.3lbs.
When Colnago released the V3-Rs last year, reviews raved about its performance but called its looks ‘unremarkable’ and ‘similar to the competition’ Whether or not you agree, Pogacar’s performance up La Planche Des Belles Filles changed that. There is nothing ‘unremarkable’ or ‘similar-to-the-competition’ about the first Colnago to win the Tour de France. In 36.2 kilometers, the V3-Rs was woven into the rich tapestry of Colnago’s great history where it will forever be remembered and revered in the sport of cycling.
Learn more about the V3-Rs here. If you want to explore custom building one, perhaps to the same specs as the Tour de France champion (including the junior cassette), send us an email and we would be more than happy to build your dream bike.