2020 has barely got going but the first professional race looms large on the calendar so it's time to check out the bikes and equipment the WorldTour teams will be using this season.
After years of 18 WorldTour teams, this season sees an increase to 19 with Cofidis moving up from ProTeam level. to join the top teams. That leaves just three wild card entries for each of the Grand Tours this season.
There were quite a few changes to bike and equipment sponsors in 2019, but it's much quieter this year with fewer big changes. The biggest news is Movistar ending its long partnership with Campagnolo and switching to SRAM groupsets along with Zipp wheels - that brings SRAM's team sponsorship up to two as it continues to support Trek-Segafredo.
Merida has dropped from a title sponsor for the new Bahrain-McLaren team but remains as bike sponsor. This new-look team will be spearheaded by Mark Cavendish who will be hoping for a return to his winning ways. Merida has a new Reacto 4 aero disc bike in the works as revealed on the UCI list of approved bikes recently, but we’ve yet to see any pictures of it.
Classy Italian brand Wilier returns to the WorldTour by taking over from Argon 18 as bike supplier to Astana. The team will continue to use Corima wheels, the only team to use the French designed wheels.
Canyon now only sponsors one WorldTour team with Katusha disappearing, taken over by the Israel Cycling Academy pro conti team from last year to form Israel Start-Up Nation. They’ll ride Factor Bikes, the once British bike brand that has supplied AG2R in the past.
As mentioned earlier, Cofidis has joined the WorldTour ranks, and also gets a new bike sponsor, swapping from Kuota to De Rosa. The Italian bike brand previously supported the Israel Cycling Academy.
The groupset war, well more of a skirmish than an all-out battle, continues to be dominated by Shimano. It provides 14 teams this season, some sponsorship deals that mean the team also has to use Shimano wheels and sometimes PRO components, and in other cases, the team will buy the groupset and then are free to use cranks and wheels from other brands.
Campagnolo supplies three teams and SRAM has two teams. Irrespective of groupset maker, all teams use electronic groupsets. Mechanical groupsets are rarely seen, sometimes during the cobbled classics where some riders, like Peter Sagan, prefer a mechanical groupset.
Disc brakes have become an ever more common sight in the pro peloton, and this year marks a big increase in the teams committing to disc brakes. The first race hasn’t been raced yet, but judging by the press pictures from the first training camps, Bahrain-McLaren, Cofidis, Équipe cycliste Groupama–FDJ and Movistar Team will only ride disc brakes. Other teams see a mix of rim and disc brakes, the riders still able to make their own call.
We’ll keep an eye on the number of teams and riders using disc brakes as the season unfolds. Team Ineos is the big exception here, so far showing no interest in even trialling disc brakes at lower lever races.
Some most teams have shared photos of their 2020 bikes, some haven't so we'll update this article over the coming weeks.
The French team sticks with Eddy Merckx bikes, which it changed to last year from the Factor Bikes it was previously racing. The groupset is now Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 rather than the Campagnolo Record EPS of last year, but they’re still using Rotor cranks and Mavic wheels.
It appears the team will let riders choose rim or disc brakes with the choice of the 525 Disc and Stockeu69 Rim models.
One of the big changes this year Wilier replacing Argon 18 at Astana. Wilier is an Italian bike brand with a rich history, making race bikes since 1906. In recent years it has been busy developing smart bikes like the Zero SLR, their flagship race bike, pictured above. Disc brakes and clean integration make it a thoroughly modern race bike.
The press photos coming out of the early season training camp shows all the riders on disc brakes, it remains to be seen if that’ll continue once racing resumes. The bikes will be equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets, and we can presume FSA will remain as a crankset supplier once again.
Mark Cavendish has joined Bahrain McLaren for 2020, which means the Manx Missile will swap from his BMC race bikes from last year to Merida this year. Merida has been very active in developing and refining its race bikes, and it looks like there is a Reacto 4 in the pipeline. That is the company's aero bike and the likely model favoured by Cavendish.
We can presume the entire team will race on disc brakes given all the photos shared thus far only show disc-equipped bikes, making this the latest team to make the switch to disc brakes. The bikes will be built with Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets and Vision wheels.
No changes here. Like 2019, Peter Sagan and co. will race the latest Specialized Venge and Tarmac bikes shod with Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets and with Roval wheels. Most of the team look like they'll be on disc brakes as sponsor Specialized has ramped up development of disc-equipped bikes in the last few years.
New last year, the CCC Team continues with the brightest kit in the pro peloton and Giant bikes. Giant is expected to launch a new TCR Advanced this year - Greg Van Avarmaet has been spotted with it - but you have to look hard to spot the changes. Otherwise, it’s the same Dura-Ace groupsets with Cadex wheels, the name of Giant’s wheel brand.
The biggest change to the WorldTour peloton is the arrival of Cofidis. The French team has also gained the sponsorship of De Rosa, an Italian bike brand that hasn’t been a common sight in the WorldTour much in recent years. The company has been investing in its future, unveiling a new logo last summer and updating the SK Pininfarina, Merak and has a new Idol road bike for 2020, so bagging a WorldTour team has clearly been key to their marketing strategy for raising their profile. The bikes will be equipped with Campagnolo groupsets and use Fulcrum wheels.
The Belgium team committed to disc brakes in 2019, the first team to do so, and it didn't do them any harm at all. The team will once again commit to disc brakes with Specialized providing a fleet of bikes, from the Tarmac for climbing and all-round versatility, Venge for sprinters and Roubaix for cobbled classics. Expect a new Tarmac this year as it’s the oldest model in the range.
No huge changes for this American squad in 2020, aside from a little tweak to the bold pink and blue Rapha outfit. Cannondale is still bike sponsor with the new SuperSix Evo and SystemSix bikes available to the team. Last year we saw riders split on rim and disc brakes, and it remains to be seen if that is still the case this year. It must be a nightmare for the mechanics to look after so many different bikes and wheels.
No major changes for Groupama-FDJ this year. French bike brand Lapierre continues to provide bikes and offers the choice of the Aircode SL for sprinters and flat stages, and the Xelius SL for mountain stages where weight is a priority. Last year the team were all on rim brakes, but photos from the early season training camp suggest there might be a move to disc brakes this year.
Last year the professional continental team Israel Cycling Academy rode De Rosa bikes, but in the step up to the WorldTour after taking over the Katusha licence, the new team is now sponsored by Factor Bikes.
Factor, once a British bike brand, has been in the WorldTour previously with AG2R. We’re led to believe the team will all ride disc-equipped bikes, with Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets and wheels from Black Inc, an own-brand by Factor.
The Belgian team has the same bike and equipment suppliers this year but the big news is the announcement that the entire team will race disc brakes, following in the footsteps of Deceuninck - Quick-Step. The team will have the choice of the Ridley Noah Fast Disc and Ridley Helium SLX Disc equipped with Campagnolo Record EPS groupsets and wheels.
As far as we can tell there are no significant sponsorship changes at this Aussie team. Scott still supplies bikes, with the Foil and Addict being the two bikes available. Shimano provides Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets with matching wheels.
Movistar is a huge team in the cycling world and after 37 years of Campagnolo and rim brakes, for 2020 it is switching to SRAM and disc brakes. I never thought I’d see the day when this Spanish team would ride disc brakes, and I’m pretty certain Alejandro Valverde thought he’d retire before being made to ride disc brakes. The team will continue with Canyon bikes, with a choice of Aeroad and Ultimates, and use SRAM Red eTap AXS groupsets with Quarq power meters and Zipp wheels.
This is the new name for Dimension Data, but new name aside, it’s the same BMC bikes equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets and Enve wheels. We saw a lot of the team on disc brakes last season as BMC has been developing disc brake versions of its TeamMachine, while its Timemachine aero race bike is only available with disc brakes.
Team Ineos is rapidly looking like the most conservative team in the pro peloton, but it’s a case of it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, with the team sticking to rim brakes and publicly showing no interest in disc brakes. The team continues to be sponsored by Pinarello, with the Dogma F12 the current model.
Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is still the favoured groupset and for most stages its Shimano Dura-Ace wheels too, though with the team rocking super expensive Lightweight wheels last summer, in a throwback to the 90s, the team clearly isn’t afraid to try different equipment. It certainly has the budget to buy whatever kit it wants.
Bianchi is still the bike sponsor here, with the Oltre XR4 the main go-to race bike for the squad. Equipment duties full once again to Shimano for Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets and wheels.
This team switched from Giant to Cervelo last season, and this year sticks with the same bikes. So expect to see the R5 and S5 models being used, with riders free to choose the bike that suits their aspirations and riding styles. While the S5 forces the rider to embrace disc brakes, it appears the team is letting riders use rim brakes on the R5. Groupsets will be Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with matching wheels once again.
This time 12 months ago the big news was Trek-Segafredo picking up SRAM as a sponsor and that partnership continues this year. It’s one of two teams to use SRAM’s Red eTap AXS wireless groupset. Last year the team was split on rim and disc brakes, world champion Mads Pedersen is an outlier being a fan not just of disc brakes, but also 1x. Expect this team to show a mix of rim, disc, 1x and 2x setups throughout the season.
We saw iconic Italian bike brand Colnago return to the peloton two years ago and it remains here with the UAE-Team Emirates team. The C64, Concept and V3-RS are the models available to the team, the latter is the newest and most likely the go-to bike for most riders on this team. Campagnolo will provide both groupsets of the electronic variety and wheels.
We'll update this article once the season gets underway very soon...
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.