The 2019 Tour de France is well underway, and we saw some stunning bikes during our visit to the team camps in Brussels last week... but only one (well two or three actually) will be ridden to victory by the eventual winner of the yellow jersey.
Here are our favourites that we don't think will be ridden by the eventual GC winner this year - feel free to disagree with us of course, who knows how things will pan out over the next couple of weeks...
Sure there's a chance Rigoberto Uran of EF Education First might win Le Tour, but we think Uran, and the lovely Cannondale Supersix Evo ridden by him and his team for most of the stages, might just miss out on the top step. The all new Supersix Evo has a much more aero-inspired appearance than its previous iteration, but doesn't sacrifice comfort with a truncated profile down tube and dropped seat stays.
It also has increased tyre clearance and a new seatpost, and comes in both disc and rim brake versions. The EF First pro bikes are equipped with a mix of components, featuring Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifters, brakes and derailleurs, Cannondale's own Hollowgram SiSL2 crankset and FSA chainrings. And of course, there's the fine iridescent paint job.
Trek-Segafredo might have the yellow jersey at the time of writing in the form of Giulio Ciccone, but we're pretty doubtful that Ciccone or his teammate and main GC hopeful Richie Porte will have it when they approach the Champs-Élysées. The 'molten marble' paint job on their bikes for this Tour is a winner for us though.
The Emonda is Trek's lightest offering, and although unchanged this year the versions Trek-Segafredo are riding come equipped with SRAM's new 12 speed Red eTap AXS groupset and the premium paint scheme from Trek's Icon selection. The Bontrager Aeolus wheels complete the build, and interestingly Trek-Segafredo riders appeared to be using prototype chainrings that differ from SRAM's new one-piece chainset.
With Tom Dumoulin ruled out of this year's Tour with injury, it's unlikely Cervelo's P5 will be responsible for propelling any Team Sunweb riders to victory over GC contenders in the individual time trial on the 19th July; which is a shame, because it's one of the most innovative time trial bikes out there.
Built around disc brakes, the P5 has been redesigned from the ground-up for 2019 with the highlight being the innovative 'Speedriser' system for the aerobars. It works like an aero seatpost, adjustable with a 4mm allen key to make the stack of the extensions higher or lower. Disc brakes mean the P5 can take a 28mm tyre with ease, with Sunweb sticking to Continental Pro Ltd tubulars on this build. Shimano Dura-Ace components feature throughout, plus the Pro Aerofuel saddle and a new Elite Aero bottle/cage system.
Groupama–FDJ's main man Thibaut Pinot put in a solid performance on the brutal stage 6, with only Geraint Thomas outshining him from the GC contenders; even so, we're hedging our bets on Pinot being on or near the podium, but not in yellow a fortnight from now.
His Lapierre Xelius SL is an impressive piece of engineering, with the defining feature being the 3D Tubular technology that sees the rear triangle connected to the top tube instead of the seat tube, allowing for some extra flex and a lighter seat tube. Lapierre say it's their lightest all-round race bike ever, with a different carbon layup for the SL model to trim even more grams.
Dan Martin is always a formidable GC threat in grand tours, but we think he'll just fall short when it comes to winning the whole thing. Wherever he ends up finishing, his Colnago V2-r is an absolute showstopper.
Dressed in Campagnolo's new 12 speed Super Record EPS groupset, the V2-r is Colnago's lightweight all-rounder with a frame weight of 835g. While it isn't an all-out aero road offering the V2-r does use NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) airfoil profiles and has an internal seat clamp to reduce drag and give it a clean appearance. Campagnolo's Bora Ultra 50mm deep carbon rims feature, with their CULT ceramic bearings for extra efficiency, and Martin's handlebar of choice is the Deda Trentacinque Superleggera in a 35mm diameter.
Yes, we do think there is a strong possibly that the Pinarello Dogma F12 will be ridden by this year's GC winner in the shape of a certain Welsh defending champion... but with the Team Ineos riders sticking to rim brakes, that bike won't be the new disc brake version of the F12. This one is being used by Team Manager Sir Dave Brailsford, who is fit as a fiddle nowadays and is often known to head out for a ride with his team.
Pinarello claim the F12 reduces drag by 7.3% compared to its predecessor, the F10, and the frameset available to Joe Public costs a whopping £5,200. Sir Dave's is in Team Ineos colours, built up with Dura-Ace carbon rims, £750 Most Talon handlebars and the full Dura-Ace Di2 9170 groupset.
What bikes from this year's Tour do you prefer, and do you reckon we might have called it wrong on any of the bikes above being 2019 Tour de France-winning machines? Let us know what you think in the comments!
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.