Happy New Year!
The season is now just two weeks away with the Tour Down Under. Today marks the day when riders officially start their new jobs and are able to wear the colours of their new teams. With this in mind, here is the list of 2012 Pro Tour team bikes.
|Omega Pharma-Quick Step||Specialized||SRAM|
For many bike manufacturers sponsoring a top team is an expensive option, both in terms of the cash outlay but also because of the sheer volume of material needed. Each rider will go through at least two road frames during the season, possibly four and even more if there is crash damage and in addition there are time trial frames. This volume is not a problem for Specialized, they sponsor three teams. This was the case last year and if Highroad has gone, the US firm has returned to sponsorship of Quick Step again.
Last year I noted the declining presence of Campagnolo with only four teams in the top level, now there are just three. I know there are devoted owners out there but all top groupsets are excellent these days, there’s less point being partisan. But it’s a small worry if the Italian firm retreats any further, whether you look at it from the perspective of heritage or consumer choice.
Component sponsorship varies, some teams are sponsored directly by the parent company but others rely on deals with their national distributor and a few squads buy their components, albeit at very preferential rates. Last year Quick Step was purchasing its Campagnolo, this time I believe Garmin-Cervélo are buying their Shimano parts.