The original Tour de France took place in 1903 and was spawned from an argument relating to the Dreyfus affair. Nowadays, the biggest scandals generally involve blood "doping", which is just what it sounds like. This year's Tour was notably without a doping incident (at least not yet). But winning rider Alberto Contador and his competitors were aided once again by the advanced technology of their bikes. This year's crop of cycles boasted decreased weight coupled with an increase in frame stiffness, as well as the addition of SRAM's Red groupsets. Many of these bikes become available to consumers after being tested in the Tour. But you won't be able to buy the custom paint jobs. Lance Armstrong rode not one but two bikes during the race: A flashy Livestrong yellow and black bike designed by Marc Newson, and a butterfly emblazoned one by Damien Hirst that literally has wings! Here are some exhilarating moments from the race, as well as some specs on the bikes that got these athletes across the finish line.
Photo: Patrick Frauchiger

Tour de France champion, Alberto Cantador racing alongside an excited fan in Verbier, Canton du Valais whilst struggling through the high mountains.
Photo: Fred Dupuis

Cantador's Astana Trek 6-Series Madone aided him in victory with the help of his personal mechanic, Faustino Munoz. The mid-weight bike, which inhabits all of the components available to the public also includes Enduro's speedy ZERØ hybrid cartridges, special detail work to reduce friction, SRAM Red components, and a custom paint scheme on the frame exhibiting Contador's pistol victory salute.

Photo: Trek Bikes

Second place winner and Saxo Bank team leader, Andy Schleck, alongside brother Franck and Tour winner, Cantador as they sweat it out through the mountains of Col de la Colombière during Stage 17.

Photo: Patrick Frauchiger

According to Jason Phillips of SRAM, the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 used by Schleck is almost exactly the same as the bikes available in stores. "We use the teams as our research and development to push the product further", Phillips says, "and so that way it gets through to the people who actually buy the bike." The bike features the SRAM Red groupset, Zipp ZedTech wheels, and a BB30 style crankset that is stiffer and shaves approximately 200 grams off the total weight of the bike. The only special feature added to Schleck's bike: A large SRAM logo on the break levers.
[via SRAM Roaddiaries]

The final day of the Tour, Lance Armstrong speeds toward a third place finish in Paris on the Trek Madone bike designed by Damien Hirst for the Armstrong and Nike collaborative STAGES art tour. Champ, Alberto Cantador is quick at his wheels in yellow.
Photo: Fred Gosselin

After three years of retirement from the Tour de France, Armstrong made his return in style by riding a Trek TTX, specially designed by artist Marc Newson to raise awareness for Armstrong's anti-cancer art show, STAGES now showing in Paris.
Photo: Trek Bikes

Armstrong took his third place victory on this Damien Hirst designed Trek Madone with real butterflies along the frame all the way down to its Bontrager rims. Other artists who are partaking in Armstrong's Livestrong and Nike Collaborative exhibit include Fast Company's Most Creative Person, KAWS AKA Brian Donnelly, Shepard Fairey, and Yoshitomo Nara.
Trek Bikes

Though he placed only 106th, Cervelo Test Team's Thor Hushovd was the highest point scorer with 280 points, gaining him the second spot on the Roll of Honor. He is seen here breezing his way around a corner in Doussard, Lac d'Annecy in an individual time-trial on July 23, 2009.
Photo: Marc Nicault

Throughout the race, this aerodynamic Cervelo S3 aided Hushovd's speed and precision, which is the exact model that may be bought in shops. However, he and his teammates enjoyed the lighter Cervelo P4 during the time-trials, which according to Cervelo is the fastest TT bike ever tested.
[via Cervelo and Competitive Cyclist]

Second highest point scorer with 270 points, Mark Cavendish whizzes past fans in Gérone during Stage 6 of the race.
Photo: Totins

Cavendish represented Columbia-HTC's team on this 790-gram, 52cm Scott Addict frame specially painted in silver and gold, bearing his signature, as well as a distinctive graphic of a pin-up girl wearing a union jack skirt. The bike is said to mimic fighter jets in WWII. Cavendish used Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 with deep-section Zipp wheels, PRO supply handlebars, and a 130mm Vibe track stem and seatpost.
[via Roadcyclinguk.com]

Gerald Ciolek, who placed third overall with 172 points, making his way through the hills of Col des Mosses on July 19, 2009 during Stage 15.
Photo: Patrick Frauchiger

Ciolek and the rest of Team Milram, all took to the pavement on Focus Izalco frames this year equipped with SRAM Red cranksets. These bikes include SSPS (stable stiffness per size), which guarantees each frame the same stiffness, giving each rider the same experience on each individual bike.

Liquigas team member, Franco Pellizotti during an Individual Time-Trial in Annecy on July 23, 2009. Pellizotti is sporting his hard to miss red spotted jersey in proud recognition of his title of 2009's King of the Mountains, which also earned him the third spot on the Roll of Honor.
Photo: DailyM

Pellizotti's quick climb was aided by a Cannondale Supersix Hi-MOD. In fact, Cannondale claims that this bike has the lightest and stiffest production system in the world, including an increase in stiffness of 17% and a decrease in weight by 150 grams in comparison to its predecessor, the Supersix.
[via Cannondale]

"Vive Le Tour 2009!" Fan Art in Bourgoin-Jallieu.
Photo: Patrick Frauchiger

Fast Company

Tour de France 2009's Winners and the Bikes They Rode to Victory

While many of the bikes used in the Tour become available to consumers, you won't be able to buy the custom paint jobs: Lance Armstrong rode a flashy Livestrong yellow and black bike designed by Marc Newson, and a butterfly emblazoned one by Damien Hirst that literally has wings!

The original Tour de France took place in 1903 and was spawned from an argument relating to the Dreyfus affair. Nowadays, the biggest scandals generally involve blood "doping", which is just what it sounds like. This year's Tour was notably without a doping incident (at least not yet). But winning rider Alberto Contador and his competitors were aided once again by the advanced technology of their bikes. This year's crop of cycles boasted decreased weight coupled with an increase in frame stiffness, as well as the addition of SRAM's Red groupsets. Many of these bikes become available to consumers after being tested in the Tour. But you won't be able to buy the custom paint jobs. Lance Armstrong rode not one but two bikes during the race: A flashy Livestrong yellow and black bike designed by Marc Newson, and a butterfly emblazoned one by Damien Hirst that literally has wings! Here are some exhilarating moments from the race, as well as some specs on the bikes that got these athletes across the finish line.
Photo: Patrick Frauchiger

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