29 8月, 2023
On top of the Tour de France Femmes
Some of the most epic victories in the world’s greatest cycling races are born in the steep mountain passes that captivate the cycling community.
But a race like the Tour de France is not always decided in the last big climb of the day, perhaps not even in the queen stage. This race can be decided at any time, and in our modern cycling era where there are no rules anymore, that’s truer than ever.
Every breakaway, every attack, every crash… You have to pay attention at each moment, from the first stage to the last. One bad day can throw away all the work of several months.
Victory is not the effort of a single day; it’s the culmination of constance. On the flats, the hills, the high mountains and the time trials. Every kilometer counts.
THE COMPETITIVE LEVEL CONTINUES TO GROW YEAR AFTER YEAR. THE TOUR DE FRANCE FEMMES PUSHED THE LIMITS AT THIS EDITION.
The second edition of the Tour de France Femmes brought together 15 UCI World Teams and 7 UCI Continental Teams, including Ceratizit–WNT Pro Cycling. The course ahead: 956 km and 8 demanding stages that promised heroic moments. The battle raged from the first day and intensified in the mountains. The legendary Col du Tourmalet brought out some of the best grit of the race, as well as the last Individual Time Trial.
It’s in this context of intense effort that awards and distinctions take on a special shine. The price to greatness is always very high, whether it’s earning a jersey for points or claiming an award, like Cedrine Kerbaol’s White Jersey for best young rider in this year’s Tour de France Femmes—a jersey that she wore from the first podium of the race.
Even the hard ascent up merciless Col du Tourmalet, at 17 km long with grades between 7–12%, didn’t defeated the French Time Trial Champion, who continued to wear her new jersey until the end.
THE FRENCH RIDER DEFENDED HER JERSEY IN ALL 956 KILOMETERS OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE FEMMES.
The way of competing in modern cycling has changed. Improved training plans, access to professionals who specialize in topics like aerodynamics, nutrition, bike handling technique, or sports psychology, and knowledge continue to evolve. Every category is driven deeper towards specialization and marginal gains.
We have recently seen how aerodynamic socks have jumped from time trial stages to become the norm in all kinds of stages; racers who have all but ditched the classic jersey-and-shorts combo; and the increased use of specific helmets each stage depending on the route: closed and aerodynamic for flat or hilly stages, or light and ventilated for the hottest and steepest mountain stages.
This quest for specialized gear also shows up in the very design of a bike and its assembly: wheels, cockpit, frame, components and more.
THE TRIUMPH OF SPECIALIZATION: ORCA, ORCA AERO AND ORDU
Top performance in modern cycling requires specialization for every solution, taking into account the characteristics of each use and scenario for which it was designed—because the most efficient aero bikes can never truly be the lightest and, likewise, the lightest bikes can never be the most aero.
Different tests at high and low speeds with equipment used by the likes of Cedrine and the Ceratizit–WNT Pro Cycling team yield results that support the design of a polarized road range with the goal of offering the best performance.
THE JOINT WORK WITH OUR OOLAB PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND TEST TEAM, OUR WHEEL PARTNERS, OQUO, OC COMPONENTS AND RIDER COLLABORATIONS HAVE HELPED US REFINE THE BEST RACING EQUIPMENT FOR YOU.
“These tests indicate that as grade increases and speed decreases, the effect of gravity overrides air resistance. In other words, an ultralight bike like the new Orca—weighing only 6.7 kg—gains an advantage over a super aero bike like the Orca Aero and also over a medium-weight bike with aerodynamic solutions,”
– says Joseba Arizaga, Product Manager at Orbea Road.
THE NEW ORCA OFFERS A REDUCTION OF UP TO 1.5 S/KM AND SAVES UP TO 3 WATTS OF POWER ON 12% GRADES LIKE THE TOURMALET.
On July 20, the seventh generation of Orca launched to the world, an ultralight model that’s 100% focused on climbing. It was conceived to assault the most challenging climbs with the maximum power from each pedal stroke and to feel the true essence of cycling.