2013 Pro Team Bikes

Movistar Pinarello bike

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.

Team Frame Components Wheels
Ag2r-La Mondiale Focus Campagnolo Fulcrum
Argos-Shimano Felt Shimano Shimano
Astana Specialized Campagnolo Corima
Blanco Pro Cycling Giant Shimano Shimano
BMC Racing BMC Shimano Shimano
Euskaltel Orbea Shimano Shimano
FDJ Lapierre Shimano Shimano
Garmin-Sharp Cervélo Shimano Mavic
Orica-Greenedge Scott Shimano Shimano
Lampre-Merida Merida Shimano Fulcrum
Cannondale Cannondale SRAM Vision
Lotto-Belisol Ridley Campagnolo Campagnolo
Movistar Pinarello Campagnolo Campagnolo
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Specialized SRAM Zipp
Radioshack Trek Shimano Bontrager
Saxo-Tinkoff Specialized SRAM Zipp
Sky Pinarello Shimano Shimano
Vacansoleil-DCM Bianchi (mixed) FFWD

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

Team Frame Components Wheels
Accent Jobs-Wanty Carrera Shimano Vision
Crelan-Euphony Colnago Shimano Shimano
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise Eddy Merckx Campagnolo – Rotor 3T
Champion System Pro Cycling Fuji SRAM Oseous
Colombia Wilier Triestina SRAM + FSA Vision
Caja Rural Vivelo Campagnolo Vivelo
Bretagne-Séché Environnement KTM Shimano – Miche
Cofidis Look Shimano Mavic
Sojasun BH Shimano – Rotor Corima
Europcar Colnago Campagnolo Campagnolo
Team NetApp-Endura Fuji Shimano Oval
Androni Giocattoli Bianchi Campagnolo Fulcrum
Bardiani-CSF Inox Cipollini Campagnolo Campagnolo
CCC Polsat Polkowice Guerciotti Shimano Mavic
MTN-Qhubeka Trek SRAM Zipp
IAM Cycling Scott Shimano DT Swiss
Team Novo Nordisk Colnago Shimano Shimano
Rusvelo Cervélo Xentis
United Healthcare NeilPryde SRAM Enve
Vini Fantini Cipollini Shimano Ursus

110 thoughts on “2013 Pro Team Bikes”

  1. Interesting that the mass choice of wheels are Shimano. As you’ve explained it’s part of the deal.

    However, with the claims that some companies are making with regards to their wheel performance, it does strike me that wheel performance can’t actually be that different. Zipp make some pretty hefty claims (or once did). So you’d think that they’d have more representation – particularly as marginal gain performance is everything at this level.

    SO it either goes to show that performance is negligible or it doesn’t actually matter (within reason) what wheels you ride.

    Perhaps as you note money talks.

    • Re: wheel choice, I’d say the fact that Shimano sponsored teams riding obviously rebaged “Shimano” wheels indicates rider preference for certain brands. Whether or not this means these brands make a measurable difference is another issue entirely.

    • It’s my understanding that a Shimano contract obligates the team to a full Shimano line up–wheels, pedals, PRO, et. al. Garmin gets away with Mavic for the aforementioned non-sponsored arrangement.

    • devil’s in the details.

      or, the devil’s in what’s actually ridden.

      Lotsa zipp stuff being ridden under labels of other producers.

      Valverde did this at Movistar, as have many others. Hed stuff gets rebadged a lot too.

  2. On a personal sponsorship note, Mark Cavendish was in Specialized not Nike shoes and Zipp stem not his signature Pro Vibe bar and stem in the OPQS promo pics.

    Condor Cycles in London were selling the Pro Vibe Cav kit at a hefty discount last week too so looks like that deal is over now too.

  3. Showing my ignorance now…!

    Are there any fgures available for any differences between team bikes in terms of performance? What I mean to say is, how much difference does it make? I can see the difference between a £1000 entry carbon frame with 105 versus a top end frame with Di2 but top end Pinarello versus a top end Scott with the same groupset and wheels?

    I remember readnig some fuss over Cav leaving his beloved S-Works Venge when he went to Sky, but was that performance or comfort related (or just all in his mind?)

    P.S. I’m so glad I’ve found this blog, it’s amazing reading!!

    • I’d be interested to hear a more informed opinion than my own on this but it would be my contention that any differences in performance between the bikes would be negligible. Put me on an S-Works Venge and any pro you care to name on a clapped out mountain bike and I’m still going to lose 😀

      Extreme example granted and I appreciate that a lot of small advantages = a significant advantage (can’t bring myself to use that phrase, sorry!) but I would think training, nutrition, riding position and all manner of other things rank above the differences between top end pro bikes that are much of a muchness?

      Notwithstanding nods to recon, tactics and strategy, so much is about the physical output of the rider. I’d say, in terms of the bikes, the psychological impact of whether a rider is happy or comfortable on their bike is probably the biggest difference they make.

    • I’ve tried to look into this before http://inrng.com/2011/02/are-bike-reviews-biased/

      It’s always hard to say. The happiest rider is one who is happy with their bike. Get a $5,000 bike and might love it but you could also be worried about getting it dirty, having to recharge the electric gears or driven mad by a creaking noise that you thought the expenditure would eliminate.

      Fit is a big thing, sit right on the bike and your position is more aero-significant than any wheels or profiled frame tubes.

      • Ingrng – Just read that review and to a certain extent I would take you to task on the objective faculties of wine tasters (although my experience is more in tasting of chocolate). If you go through the proper training you can turn off the ‘hedonistic’ response and rely purely on direct sense reactions. It isn’t easy and takes a lot of practice but you know you are successful when you can sample cocoa liquor which would make most people sick. Unfortunately I don’t believe the reviewers working for cycling publications have any proper training and as the biggest variable for those not trained is their day to day variation in sensitivity most of the assessments should not be taken too seriously.

        • There is plenty of blow-baggery and phoniness in wine reviews too. How many wines have been “designed” to appeal to the likes of Robert Parker? Bottom line is – pros ride what they get paid to ride unless they hate the stuff so much they rebadge what they do like to fool the public. I think EVERY sponsor out there has put their name on a product made by someone else over the years. Any pro I’ve ever spoken with has said PROPER FIT is what matters most – they know better than to bad mouth equipment because they know there’s a reasonable chance they might end up riding that same brand of stuff the next season. Does anyone truly believe the Lion King really thought his Cannondale was “the best bike ever”?

      • Some years back a German magazine got hold of two actual professional bikes and it turned out:
        – the sprinters frame was 200 g more heavy than serial and much stiffer
        – the climbers frame was (I think ) 150 g less.

        In respect to fit it is not uncommon that riders get a custom frame. So while your frame carries the same stickers, it might actually be different beneath the paint. But than it might be used for things and tested in a different way 😉 http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/10/bad-boys-special-swiss-bike-test-no-2.html

    • I expect that there are differences between frames, beyond just geometry. Design of any complex product or machine is about prioritization between often contradictory aims (comfort vs stiffness vs weight, for example). This is complicated by economic and manufacturing considerations beyond the frame’s performance in a race. Although custom carbon layups are possible, and presumably common at the pro-tour level, creating new moulds just for their pro-tour team would be prohibitively expensive for many companies, and run counter to the marketing justification of supporting a racing team in the first place.

      While you would expect that every frame used at the pro-tour level to be very good, you would also expect that there are differences in performance. I think this was demonstrated at the Olympics by Team GB/Sky, whose male athletes rode custom-made UKSI frames rather than Sky’s Pinarellos. While you can rationalize their use of custom aero frames in the road race since Pinarello doesn’t make an aero road frame, their decision to put Wiggins on a custom TT frame was interesting given that he won every TT he entered last year riding his Pinarello.

      This decision is particularly interesting since the custom TT frame did not include most of the apparently revolutionary developments of recent years, such as concealed brakes, integrated stems/bars, bayonet-style front forks, and so on. It wouldn’t have looked out of place in 2005. Are these developments in fact just marketing-driven differentiators with no real performance benefit?

      In the end, it’s not about the bike, and although the bikes are interesting the sport would be pretty boring if that is all there is to winning or losing.

      • Andrew, your comment re. the contradictory aims of comfort vs stiffness vs weight makes me think of the old builders truism; time vs quality vs low cost.
        You can have any 2 together but never all 3.

        I think it may be impossible to get comfort/stiffness/weight reduction all in one carbon frame… but don’t tell the marketing guys!

  4. So sRam puts it IPO plans on hold, uh? No mention as to why but, hey lets face it, that’s never a good sign.

    Last I heard ,they were not in great financial shape (read major debt) to put it mildly (perhaps that’s why they decided to stop throwing money at so many teams). By way of anecdote the few folks who use sarm on local rides invariable have issues with their gear: so its not just Schleck losing the TdF, it you missing out on the Sunday ride sprint! (Not to mention potentially owning a groupset with not available spare parts). Oh, and Lance Armstrong apparently is a major investor.

    • Oliver,
      The USA’s IPO market was very lackluster last couple years.
      Even Facebook’s highly anticipated IPO was a bust, stock price dropping some 50% in the months after IPO (only recently getting back to original IPO levels).

    • Oh, I’m sure overall reliability is similar across all 3 big component manufacturers (how many Shimano chains has Sven Nys broken this season?). From what I’ve seen, most local rider equipment failures are due to poor maintenance or misuse.

      Also, Armstrong divested his interest in SRAM a couple years ago.

      • Just my opinion:
        I have an Ultegra equipped bike and a Rival equipped bike. I’m currently looking for a second hand Ultegra groupset to replace the SRAM stuff.
        It’s not about feel ad what your used to, as Rival “feels” fine, it just doesn’t work that well.
        Clunky and noisy etc. Chainsuck.
        Also one lever for two purposes seems like a bad idea – eg, climbing: It gets steeper, so I shift down, heartrate soaring. If you don’t quite get the lever all the way across the wide sweep on Shimano, nothing happens. On SRAM, you shift UP. Which is much worse than nothing.
        In my experience and opinion.

        • Don’t compare Campagnolo with the S brands in terms of reliability. Many non-sponsored riders and teams have used their chains in the past. Their major components are rebuildable unlike the others. They have been around for 80 years and have a loyal following that their competitors envy. Yes, you will often pay more for Campy but their stuff is much more durable.

      • Don’t compare Campagnolo with the S brands in terms of reliability. Many non-sponsored riders and teams have used their chains in the past. Their major components are rebuildable unlike the others. They have been around for 80 years and have a loyal following that their competitors envy. Yes, you will often pay more for Campy but their stuff is much more durable.

  5. Great post as alway, Inrngs: love the lists of equipment, sponsors etc. compiled in one go. Love the interconnected nature of some of the suppliers/sponsors you highlight as well. Can’t wait for more of these. Also looking forward to more of the the “roads to ride” posts too!

  6. Whilst Cav may have experienced a less than fruitful time at Sky it was apparently not down the bike. According to Pinarello execs they had a conference call before last season in order to satisfy any modifications that Cav may like to make to his Dogma, and he told them to ‘leave everything as it is’. Whether this is Pinarello bluster or the truth (there was a rumour at the time that Sky were looking at alternatives), who knows, but it’s probably fair to assume that Cav will achieve more success back on the Spesh than he did on the Pinarello, although having a dedicated lead out train is likely to make a bigger impact than changing the bike.

    Good to see Lapierre still supplying the FDJ team too – I ride one of the x-lite team issue frames from a few seasons ago and I like to pretend I’m a pro when I’m on it – until I get to a big hill anyway…

    • I know where you’re coming from and perhaps Cavendish will be happier back on Specialized but it’s easy to forget who won the most GT stages last year with limited team support 🙂

  7. What’s the deal with BMC? They just made a big announcement that they would be using 3T components(still with Shimano groupsets). If Shimano require teams with a full sponsorship to use their and PRO somponents, it seems a bit odd that BMC would use Shimano wheels but not PRO stuff. Unless they are doing what Garmin are and simply chose Shimano wheels instead of Mavic.

  8. I wonder what these tied sponsorships (drivetrains/wheelsets) will do to the general wheelset market place as less and less companies get their goods into the UCI World Tour viewing?

  9. AGR2 la Mondiale have dumped Kuota, wondering if this was down to the lack of results last season. I have a KOM Evo and it is a reallt nice frame. Or do bike manufacture’s outbid one another to secure a contract?

  10. I’m still amazed how much people care about what bikes the pros ride. They are professionals. That means, quite literally, that they ride what they are paid to ride. Only if they had to buy their bikes like the rest of us, and could do so freely, their choices would mean something.
    I would think the only performance-based reasoning that goes into choosing an equipment sponsor is their willingness to make custom-fit bikes and their level of reliability testing of the prototypes before they give them to the pros to do the showcase tests in races. Neither of these matter any bit to consumers.
    Anyone here ever bought a Quick-Step floor for their house because Tom Boonen has that name on his shirt?

    • It was only last year that I finally connected that Quick-Step pro cycling was related to a flooring company. I know that this probably sounds remarkably dense, but I simply never thought about it.

    • Of course. But since the beginning the sport has been closely associated with the manufacturers and the early racing teams were exclusively sponsored by cycle manufacturers. In more recent times cycling regulation by the UCI has (rightly or wrongly) slowed technical innovations so these companies are unveiling new products for triathletes or the amateur or grand fondo market instead.

      • I know that getting top athletes to use your products is the best way to market sports equipment. People want to be like their heroes and spending money on stuff is easier than training like mad. I just wanted to be the annoying wise guy and point out that it makes no sense.

    • Yes, actually. We were trying to choose between two types of flooring, nearly identical on every factor. Rather than toss a coin, we went for Quickstep because they’re into cycling.

      • Same here – I’ll favour cycling sponsors, local or international.

        The contractor that did some home renovations uses Mapei (here in Canada). He’s a cycling enthusiast whose son is a top-tier local rider. He’s also a local team sponsor, which is why I initially contacted him.

        I also have a Festina watch, drink a local beer that sponsors cycling teams, and in general opt for brands that are associated with cycling (all things being reasonably equal).

        • I do too. I always ask for an Amstel (in America!), or a Michelob. Shunned Subway for Quizno’s. Picked up a 5 hour energy and not another brand. I chose Jelly Belly’s sportbeans because of Andy Bajadali’s amazing also ran ride against George and Levi during nationals, though he never had a chance. Went to open an account at Rabobank, before I realized that their rates are mediocre at best. I am now also in the market for a Festina for my birthday (thanks Rod).
          I try, you should too.

          • HAHAHAHA… end of comment… I’m sorry but $$ in any sport cheapen it… and uh, you buy the products ON PURPOSE? you guys sound so thick in the hean

    • True, but you also have to remember here in ‘Merica that droves of people still hold allegiance to car manufacturers that support NASCAR teams. Up until this year’s Daytona, other than the decals on the body, they are the same as every other machine in the race. That being said, people still buy Toyota or Ford or Chevy because their driver or team is sponsored by them.

  11. Would like to hear the honest opinion regarding wheels from some pros. I have recognized that often when they ride in national teams or other non team related environments the Lightweights come out.

  12. Given what you say about how much money talks in relation to the gear & clothing that the pro teams use, it makes this statement from Rapha CEO Simon Mottram all the more amusing;

    “We are delighted that, after only eight years as a business, we have been chosen by Team Sky, the world’s number one team, as their partner,”

    Clearly the high end cycling clothing business is doing well if they can ‘be chosen’ to sponsor the no. 1 UCI team for the next 4 years.

    • “In only eight years we’ve made enough profits to be able to afford to pay SKY to wear our stuff….just like all the other suppliers do” would be more honest but certainly less marketing savvy. You don’t see many of the little guys in the sponsorship end of pro cycling these days – even though some of their products might be used — with the big sponsor’s name tacked on of course.

      • Speaking to a protour rider recently and they commented on how much he and his teammates hated the poor quality of their kit (compared to the manufacturer of this guy’s kit when on a different team). I would rather protect the innocent/guilty by not naming names, but I was surprised. He said some riders get their chamois changed to Assos even when the kit is made by others.

        On wheel choice, he said the riders in his squad raved about HED and the new Bontrager Aeolos wheels. But he is generally “told” to use Shimano.

        • Years ago we visited Assos where they told us they had decided to no longer produce “replica” stuff for riders who hated the clothes the sponsor provided. Made sense to me – why make your competitors stuff look good? But our friends at Santini (official supplier to CycleItalia) have been asked more than a few times to supply and actually install (though that doesn’t really sound right for a chamois) their chamois in the shorts of a famous pro – something they’ve done happily…so you can almost never be sure what you see is what anyone is actually using. I’ve done it myself, having Santini inserts sewn into bib shorts from another maker back-in-the-day when we worked for a big tour operator.

        • Well, the all black front of the new sky jersey kind of looks cool.

          However, the giant bright blue strip on the back certainly does not workout with the all black background. They needed the white to balance it out.

    • Wear Rapha and I will blow past you on on my bike every day of the week. If you are going to charge that much for chinese made product I will make them think twice about the salve labor employed and the abused animals they harvest that stuff from…

  13. Its interesting how some brands forgo ProTour sponsorship yet have a high degree of success. ENVE comes to mind or even Lightweight back in the day. (Although they did sponsor Milram?) People seem to love Parlee too. Rapha (prior to Sky) and Assos too.

    Can a protour sponsorship boost sales of a lackluster product? Easton’s sponsorship of BMC and Phonak didn’t seem to boost people’s negative opinion about their wheels in my area.

  14. The most surprising change in ’13 is the drop in the # of SRAM teams. I imagine Campagnolo will still sponsor Europcar and Bissell. Shimano’s presence is heightened by 11speed and deservedly so. Great group. Already missing Colnago and Wilier along with Merckx although they will be on some Pro Conti teams.

    • Agreed… without Colnago and Wilier the pro scene has lost some of its mystique in my opinion (though not as much as some other developments in recent times!). I’m sure Merida paid a hefty wedge to get the Lampre gig, but it still doesn’t sit right… what would be interesting is if a millionaire owner who does it for the love of the sport and doesn’t need the cash from manufacturers to kit the team out took a free hand and let the riders go with their own choices.

      • Why doesn’t it sit right that the company in whose factories the bikes of at least 3 other WT teams are made now also has some bikes riding around with their own name on it?

        • Come now AK, there is a bygone era to be whistfully remembered here, when bikes were handmade by craftsmen, whom personal relationships with the riders themselves, and when bikes represented more than a marketing tool but a regional identity.

          I don’t find Merida per se distasteful, they just happen to represent the more modern face of cycling in this instance. As is often the case in life generally, it’s easy to look back with a slightly scewed sense of how good things were – it’s one of the primary functions of human memeory that it glosses over the crap stuff and convinces you that life has been one long stroll in the park. That’s the only reason people havemore than one child. Fact!

  15. It looks to me like SRAM is going for quality over quantity with their sponsorship. It seems obvious that they might distance themselves from RadioShack (a la Nissan) with all the controversy. They can still win a lot of races with Sagan, Contador, Cavendish and Boonen. All good choices for large glossy ads. Sky and BMC might be out of their price range.

  16. Never had a purchase decided by who rides it or how many times it’s won races. I guess that’s one of the good things about being an unpaid amateur, apart from not having to ride up mountains every day.
    Imagine having to touch a Dogma every day. Gross.

    • Totally true minus the bit abotu the dogma… that bike looks nice… and you can get your staraight up copy with asymetrical bits as well at great keen bikes for $600!

  17. Another factor on component choice among teams: some of these “decisions” are based upon the OEM (Original Equipment Deals) between the frame brands and the component brands. In the end, the frame brands prefer their sponsored teams to ride bikes which the consumer can buy as stock spec through their dealer networks, though this does not always work out. The Frame brands recognize that budgets are limited all around, and understand that the teams need other sponsors, and recognize that they rarely can fulfill each and every possible requirement in an as-stock manner (especially with esoteric or specialty equipment).

    Equipment sponsorships can be frame only, component only, complete bike, and any other combination. Having to provide components along with the bikes increases the sponsorship costs for the frame brand, unless there is a cooperative agreement between the brands; these deals are best when the frame brand buys significant quantity of component brands from the manufacturers, as they can get the lowest possible price, as well as promotional donations.

    Generally speaking, the World Tour teams have more power and choice than Pro Conti and Conti teams, but there are exceptions to every rule.

    • Thank gawd! One of the most attractive things about cycling to me has always been that the bikes are all pretty much the same until you put a rider/racer on ’em. The Tour winner each year could easily win using the equipment used by the last placed guy…despite what the industry would have you believe!

  18. So being an IM triathlete I ride Argon-18, hed and SRAM.
    My wish list is Cervelo, Zipp and SRAM…..
    My brands of desire are swamped by shimano…… is that because Shimano is better, or they pay better?

  19. One thing that sprung to mind directly was: would the fact that SRAM is not offering an electronic groupset and 11-speed had any effect on teams decisions to choose Campy or Shimano? I believe the benefits of both are absolutely noticeable, especially by pro’s who ride their bikes day in day out. SRAM has seem to have lost their edge now they haven’t updated their Red groupset and their marketing focus has been on the new X1 groupset for MTB, not so much on road.
    Another thing that would be nice to find out is: what brand and setup does a recently retired pro choose as his first privately owned bike? Perhaps that would give a better idea what bikes they really prefer.

    • If you’ll notice, many of the new Campy teams aren’t even on the EPS groups. If I were a team mechanic, I’d prefer Campy for it’s rebuild-ability. I understand, they have scores of surplus parts at the ready as part of the deal and maybe that’s why I’m not a Pro Tour mechanic!

  20. I’m glad to see 2 pro conti teams using Vivelo. The only professional bulgarian brand. Hope to see Caja Rural and CCC Polsat in more races including the Vuelta xD

  21. Has Merida decided to pull Boardman as the bike of United Healthcare due to the Lampre-Merida deal? It seems surprising given their desire to turn Boardman into a more international brand.

  22. CCC Polkowice will actually ride Guerciotti. It is announced on their website since November 2012, yet still Vivelo acts as bike supplier and riders pose with Vivelo’s. They need a good webmaster I reckon. More ridiculously photo covering news of their training camp in Spain shows riders on Meridas which is a story from at least two years back.
    Double check at http://www.guerciotti.it/News/tabid/95/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/76/GUERCIOTTI-E-CCC-POLSAT-INSIEME-NEL-2013.aspx

  23. For those that want to see the Racers make a difference , ACT NOW !

    WADA has removed phat from the executive and the Luxemburgers have called an ” Extraordinary UCI Management / Delegates Meeting “!

    With some luck , things will change in the blink of an eye , BUT , to make sure ALL Cycling Fans need to send @gaudryt ALL the links and info that will help her to acquaint her ” UCI Peers ” with the need for URGENT CHANGE !

    CCN & Jaimie Fuller , are also likely to be keen to help !

    CCN alone will not do the job needed !

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