*This article has been updated with a response from Pirelli
Mitchelton-Scott have become the second pro team to sign a deal with Pirelli, and the Italians have also launched the new tubular tyre, the P Zero Velo Tubular, that Simon Yates et al will be racing on at the Tour de France in July.
During a break from the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix de France 2018 qualifying session at the weekend, Yates rode a 5.8km lap of the Paul Ricard Grand Prix circuit to unveil the tyres, and even presented Lewis Hamilton the prize for his pole position performance afterwards. The Pro Continental team Aqua Blue Sport are the other team riding Pirelli this year, but Mitchelton-Scott are their first partner on the UCI World Tour.
Pirelli say their R+D team have worked with Mitchelton-Scott in the lead up to the Tour de France, with a total of 300,000km covered during the testing phase which included racing with blanked out logos. They include Pirelli's SmartNet Silica compound that features in the P Zero Velo clinchers and recently-launched Cinturato Velo tubeless-ready tyres, and promise "new levels of confidence and control" for the Mitchelton-Scott riders. Their team Performance Director commented: “The tyre is arguably the most important piece of equipment available to a professional road
cyclist. There’s an incredible amount of trust that goes into a very small contact patch to the
"We've been really happy with the development of the tyres. Pirelli have been excellent in the way they’ve communicated with our athletes and taken on board their feedback. We have ended up with a fantastically fast, grippy and comfortable tyre that handles incredibly well”.
As we understand it you won't be able to get your hands on the tubular tyres that Mitchelton-Scott will be riding at Le Tour... at least not now anyway, as they're nowhere to be seen on Pirelli's online shop. At first sight this appears to be in conflict with the UCI's rule (article 1.3.007) that "bicycles and their accessories shall be of a type that is sold for use by anyone practising cycling as a sport", and that prototype/recently launched products must be commercially available within 12 months after their first use in competition. And after asking for clarification, our Pirelli press contact Claudia Vianino confirmed this will be the case: "The UCI rule say the product should be on the market within the year of sponsorship.
"The tech outcomes of the collaboration between Mitchelton-Scott and Pirelli will be poured into the consumer tubular tyres that Pirelli will introduce on the market within the end of the year."
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.