Here is the list of pro team bikes for 2013, now updated to include the 19 Pro Continental teams as well as the 18 World Tour teams that featured the other day.
|Blanco Pro Cycling||Giant||Shimano||Shimano|
|Omega Pharma-Quick Step||Specialized||SRAM||Zipp|
As ever note these are commercial decisions. Those adverts saying “the choice of” such and such rider? More like the sponsor offered the largest sum of money to the team and so got accepted although it’s not always cash and some teams do put an emphasis on performance.
The newcomer for 2013 is Merida. The Taiwanese company displaces Italian firm Willier-Triestina in sponsoring the Lampre team, a tale of globalisation in a single deal. Note Merida has a large shareholding in Specialized which itself sponsors three teams meaning four teams are closely linked by these close brands. It’s the same with Garmin-Sharp and Ag2r-La Mondiale who ride Cervélo and Focus bikes respectively and both brands are owned by Dutch company Pon Holdings.
Note the other corporate relationships. Fulcrum is brand belonging to Campagnolo. SRAM has bought the likes Zipp and Quarq so a team sponsored by SRAM will normally use their sister components too. Similarly those with full Shimano sponsorship have to take the full package of Pro components and Shimano wheelsets.
Another change for 2013 big change is SRAM shrinking back. Back in 2011 they sponsored eight teams, it was down to five in 2012 and now it’s three. The company had been planning to sell shares on the New York Stock Exchange but the IPO plans are on hold. But growing sales suggest the pro sponsorship has worked. Two years ago I noted the declining presence of Campagnolo with only four teams in the top level which fell to just three in 2012 but now there are four teams for 2013 with Ag2r switching. I know there are devoted owners out there with tremendous brand loyalty but all top groupsets are excellent these days.
Even at the top level some teams are not sponsored by component manufacturers. Some teams are sponsored directly by the parent company but others rely on deals with their national distributor and a few squads even buy their components, albeit at very preferential rates. For example note Garmin-Sharp is not sponsored by Shimano but uses their parts, albeit with a mix n’match to incorporate components from the likes of Rotor. The chieftains of choice are Vacansoleil-DCM with an FSA crank, Look pedals and a gold KMC chain and more.
UCI Pro Continental teams
|Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise||Eddy Merckx||Campagnolo – Rotor||3T|
|Champion System Pro Cycling||Fuji||SRAM||Oseous|
|Colombia||Wilier Triestina||SRAM + FSA||Vision|
|Bretagne-Séché Environnement||KTM||Shimano – Miche||–|
|Sojasun||BH||Shimano – Rotor||Corima|
|CCC Polsat Polkowice||Guerciotti||Shimano||Mavic|
|IAM Cycling||Scott||Shimano||DT Swiss|
|Team Novo Nordisk||Colnago||Shimano||Shimano|