*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."
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.