BELLUNO, Italy (VN) — Roman Kreuziger (Astana) extended his lead in the best young rider competition at the Giro d’Italia heading into Sunday’s enormous 229km stage, fending off rising star Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank).
The young Czech rider looks set to top his ninth-place finish at last year’s Giro, and he’ll do so aboard his Specialized Tarmac SL3.
Many of Astana’s equipment sponsors are holdovers from last year, when Alberto Contador led the team. This explains the remarkable similarity between Kreuziger’s bike and Contador’s Saxo Bank-Sungard machine.
Both squads are on Specialized’s Tarmac SL3 frame module (with their crankset), SRAM Red drivetrains, and FSA cockpits and seatposts.
The most significant difference between the two is the Corima wheels used by Astana this year. The French wheel manufacturer has been relatively quiet at the top levels of the sport in recent years, but came out swinging for 2011, sponsoring both Astana and French Continental squad Sour-Sojasun, which received a wild-card slot at Tour de France this year.
On flat to rolling stages Astana has been using the pictured Corima Aero+, a 47mm-deep carbon tubular that comes in at a reported 1,340g for the pair (560 front/780 rear). The Aero+ rim was recently widened to 22.6mm at the brake track, and is available as a tubular, clincher or tubeless-compatible clincher.
In the last few mountain stages, Kreuziger has paired a rear Aero+ with Corima’s Winium+ up front. The Winium+, a 24mm climbing wheel, weighs just 465g (again, claimed weight).
Both the Winium+ and Aero+ use the same paired spoke lacing we’re used to seeing on Rolf Prima and older Bontrager wheels. Like those other manufacturers, Corima drops the spoke count significantly on their paired spoke wheels — just 20 rear and 18 front for both sets.