Tadej Pogačar looks set to finish second in the 2022 Tour de France. That said, the same could have been said during stage 20 of his debut Tour in 2020. Nothing is certain until the Tour finishes in Paris.
Regardless of Pogačar’s final podium position this year, two out of three isn’t a bad record for a 22-year-old yet to finish off the podium in a Grand Tour. The young Slovenian’s performances over the past two years have delivered Colnago its first-ever Tour de France GC win and seemingly driven the iconic Italian brand to redevelop its race-specific bikes.
Pogačar entered this year’s Tour with two brand new bikes in the shape of the
TT1 time trial bike announced back in May and the Prototipo road race rig announced in June.
Technically, both bikes are still prototypes so exact details are thin on the ground, but we got a chance to check out both bikes up close to bring you this gallery.
The new TT1 certainly looks fast. The new Colnago time trial bike features huge aero profiled forks, tubes, and even 3D printed bottle with contrastingly tiny seat stays as hidden as possible from the wind.
Pogačar’s new TT bike is fitted with the same custom extensions he used on the previous Colnago K:One time trial bike.
The extensions are made to measure for both Pogi’s forearms and his SRM PC8 head unit. It’s a red PC8 here as opposed to the yellow head unit Pogi was using when we were shooting the head unit displays of the Tour peloton feature just over a week ago.
The extensions mount to a proprietary base bar which mounts directly to the fork nose cone and steerer tube.
There’s a lot of 3D printing all in the name of smoothing out the airflow over the bike. First up is this top cap, a 3D printed part on this prototype bike.
The fork not only doubles up as a bayonet-style nose cone but also swoops forward presumably further improving the aerodynamic profile of the front end.
The top tube is incredibly narrow.
The seat tube is also narrow but incredibly deep, with a compensation triangle filling in some of the gap between seat tube and top tube and the rear of the seat tube extending slightly over the rear wheel.
Pogačar is racing with the new tubeless and disc brake compatible Bora Ultra WTO TT disc wheel on the rear.
And the Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 80 front wheel.
Prologo provides the saddle mounted to a seat post which seemingly offers a huge range of fore/aft adjustment.
Team UAE as racing with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12 speed groupsets in 2022 and, unlike in 2021, Pogačar gets the same 12-speed groupset on his time trial bike. Campagnolo doesn’t officially offer a 1x groupset, but that hasn’t stopped Pogi, who presumably has a front derailleur cable flapping about somewhere inside the frame. The front derailleur mount is removable, but Pogačar’s mechanics have opted to keep the mount and run a chain catcher for added chain security. Probably a good idea on a drvietrain not designed to run 1x.
The crankset and power measurement is provided by SRM with a 58 tooth chainring the go-to choice for time trial stages.
That bottle and those seat stays are perhaps the most interesting features on the new Colnago. The bottle is functional and has just enough gap between it and the frame to fit a credit card in between, which seemingly is how this fairing passes the UCI regulations.
The bottle neatly integrates with the frame, flowing from the down tube…
All the way back to those horizontal seat stays.
The bottle cage looks bigger than the actual bottle. Very smart.
This could be neater, again this is still a prototype.
Colnago has made use of the UCI’s relaxed aspect ratio regulations to build incredibly thin and deep upright sections on the seat stays in a bid to reduce the drag caused by he stays.
The new bike needed some new shifters to offer 12 speed EPS in a time trial setup.
Pogačar’s road race bike is also still a prototype with Colnago apparently testing five different carbon layups with various Team UAE riders before deciding on the final version to be used in the consumer ready new bike.
Again, details are still thin on the ground, but the new Prototipo certainly looks, and felt, close to the UCI limit. Light enough that Pogačar has stuck with the new disc brake equipped road bike for every road stage of this year’s Tour de France, even those through the high mountains where previously the reigning champion opted for a rim brake equipped V3Rs.
The Prototipo features several aero tweaks in the latest of what is now a long list of light-ish semi-aero race bikes. Integrated cable routing and a deeper head tube up front likely help with reducing the aero drag on the new frame.
As will the aero profile and truncated shaping on the new dropped rear seat stays
The bottom bracket isn’t as tall as we have seen on many other new aero bikes, but this smaller size likely helps keep the weight down. An important factor for a rider battling it out for supremacy in the high high mountains.
Pogačar rides with the Scratch from team saddle sponsor, Prologo.
The downtube and forks get some aero profiling also, although, again, this is not the dedicated aero rig style tube shaping.
Deda are on bar stem duty with Pogacâr opting for the Alanera integrated cockpit.
The front end looks clean and fast.
SRM and Campagnolo on drivetrain duties.
The Prototipo is still a prototype.
The seat post clamp is neatly integrated into the top tube. How accessible that bolt will be remains to be seen.
The seat tube gets the aero profiling flat back treatment.
Campagnolo’s hydraulic disc brake levers retain a similar lever shape to the rim brake variant, but the lever body is much taller to accommodate the hydraulic gubbins.
Thoughts on the new Colnago road race bike? Let us know in the comments below.