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Tour Tech 2017: Saddles of the stars!

Check out what the Tour de France riders will be perched on for the next three weeks

When you’re spending 80+ hours on the bike over three weeks you have to be comfortable, so let’s check out the saddles that the Tour de France riders are using.

Greg Van Avermaet of BMC Racing has gold panels on his Fizik Antares saddle (main pic) in recognition of his Olympic title. Well you would, wouldn’t you?

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Quick-Step’s Marcel Kittel, who won the Stage Two sprint in Liege, has a Specialized Romin Evo in a finish to match his S-Works Venge ViAS Disc frame. The explosive graphic apparently comes from experiments in the CERN particle accelerator where electrons are shot towards one another at the speed of light and this is what the impact looks like.

Check out Marcel Kittel’s Tour de France stage winning Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc here. 

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Peter Sagan, now on his way home, has an S-Works Romin Evo too, but in a different finish to match his frame.

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FDJ has some of its Fizik saddles finished in the team’s bleu, blanc, rouge colours. This one is an Aliante, designed for riders without much spine flexibility.

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AG2R is another team that uses Fizik saddles. This is Romain Bardet’s Arione 00. The light blue details match AG2R’s Factor frames, although this one is actually on a white bike.

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This one is an Antares in a team finish.

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Adam Hansen of Lotto-Soudal uses a Selle Italia Flite Team Edition Flow with carbon rails. Rather than having his saddle laid back from the centre of the seatpost, he has a forward facing clamp with the saddle pushed all the way forward on its rails to steepen the seat angle.

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That looks like a Selle Italia Turbomatic Team Edition saddle on Tiesj Benoot’s bike. It isn’t the lightest model out there but it has more padding than most race saddles. There’s something strange here, though: it says Selle San Marco on the rails (you might not be able to see it at this resolution but, believe me, it does). Selle Italia owns a majority share in Selle San Marco but it’s still odd to mix the brands.

Check out Tour Tech 2017: The kit you're not supposed to see.

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Team Bahrain Merida riders use saddles from Italian brand Prologo. This is the Nago Evo CPC Airing Nack. The raised areas dots are made from 3D polymer 'volcanoes’. The idea behind the combination of CPC (Connect, Power, Control) and Airing technology is to improve grip and keep your riding position consistent, as well as to raise you slightly above the surface to improve airflow and cooling. 

Check out our review of this saddle here. 

Have a guess how many Tour de France teams Fizik sponsors. Give up? It’s seven of the 22 taking part (AG2R, Movistar, Dimension Data, Cannondale, BMC, Sky, FDJ), hence the number of Fizik saddles here. 

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Chris Froome uses an understated carbon-railed Antares – no personalisation, no nuffink. It's a good job he's won the Tour de France three times or he wouldn't make it into our little roundup! Those two short silver lines on the top, by the way, are to help the Team Sky mechanics get the saddle position right. They provide standard measuring points so that each bike can be set up in exactly the same way.

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Froome’s TT saddle is a Fizik Ares with a grip strip down the centre to stop him inching forward when in an aero position. Again, you can see the mechanics’ two positioning lines on the top. 

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Presumably the black tape on Nicholas Roche’s Fizik Arione serve a similar purpose.

Check out's saddle reviews here.

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Dimension Data is sponsored by Fizik but Edvald Boasson Hagen prefers an old Aerofuel saddle from Pro on his time trial bike. The graphics have been blacked out with marker pen but they’re starting to show through again with wear.

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Mark Cavendish, now out of the race with injury, uses a Fizik Arione with green details to match the frame. That’s the Shimano Di2 junction box tucked away underneath it.

Go to 19 of the best saddles — the seats that improve cycling comfort for men and women.

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Fabio Aru’s Prologo Nago Evo Nack has stripes in Astana colours.

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It has an Italian tricolore U-Clip attachment at the back too.

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Richie Porte uses a Fizik Arione Versus Carbon saddle. It has a 20mm deep channel running down the centre that’s designed to reduce pressure on soft tissue.

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Giant supplies the vast majority of the equipment used by Team Sunweb, including saddles, so we think this logo-less one on Warren Barguil’s TT bike is from the Taiwanese brand, although it doesn’t yet appear in the range. Correct us if we’re wrong on that one.

Check out our other Tour de France tech stories here.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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