Vuelta a España pro bike: Larry Warbasse’s BMC Teammachine SLR 01

AG2R Citroën’s bikes are specced with Campagnolo groupsets, a rare sight in the WorldTour peloton

ClockUpdated 12:00, Wednesday 30th August 2023. Published 11:30, Wednesday 30th August 2023

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For long stretches of the 20th century, Campagnolo was synonymous with cycling glory. Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx - the century’s biggest cycling stars all used the Italian brand’s groupsets to great success.

Things have changed. Though the success hasn’t fully dried up, now there is only one team at the Vuelta a España, and at WorldTour level more generally, using Campagnolo groupsets: AG2R Citroën.

The French squad teamed up with Campagnolo at the beginning of 2021 and the partnership is now into its third year. During that time, earlier this year, Campagnolo unveiled the Super Record EPS - its first fully wireless groupset.

For many years Campagnolo fell behind its rivals in the wireless arms race but this year, they bridged the gap with Super Record EPS, which is used across all AG2R Citroën’s bikes, including Larry Warbasse’s BMC Teammachine SLR 01. Will the new technology instigate a WorldTour resurgence for the historical Italian brand? Only time will tell.

The Teammachine is BMC’s climbing-orientated bike and sits alongside its Timemachine aero road and time trial bikes.

We caught a glimpse of Warbasse’s bike ahead of the second stage of the Vuelta, and the first road stage. It was a rolling day with only three relatively tame climbs. For it, Warbasse’s bike was specced with a 54/39t chainset, a standard size for pros. The Vuelta is notorious for its viciously steep climbs so Warbasse could swap that for something more compact for the tougher mountain stages.

They might have played catchup on the wireless front, but Campagnolo was ahead of its rivals in some areas. The Super Record EPS is 12-speed, something the Italian brand first introduced to the market on certain road groupsets way back in 2018. The wireless groupset’s predecessor, the Super Record (along with the Record) used 12 speed technology. Having an extra cog on the cassette reduces the incremental changes between the gears, although not by a huge amount.

AG2R Citroën sticks with Campagnolo for their wheels too. In this case, it was the Bora Ultra WTO 45s which, as the name suggests, are 45mm deep - a nice balance between aero and lightweight. They’re combined with Pirelli’s P Zero Race tyres, in a 26mm width, thin by modern standards - from what we’ve seen at the race, 28mm appears to be the dominant choice. Campagnolo offers shallower wheels which could be swapped in for more mountainous stages, cutting weight.

BMC components are used for the handlebars and seatpost, which hoists a Fizik saddle into position, while Warbasse uses Look Keo Blade pedals and a Power2max power meter.

Bike Specification
Bike
  • model

    Teammachine SLR 01

  • Manufacturer

    BMC

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