LIMOUX, France (VN) — Like so many young riders before him, 24-year-old Jérôme Coppel has been touted as the next “great French hope” thanks to a string of good results in the last two seasons.
A fifth in last year’s Critérium du Dauphiné, fourth at this year’s Vuelta a Andalucía, and second behind Alberto Contador at Vuelta a Murcia raised expectations heading into this year’s Tour de France.
Coppel has been realistic, though, coming into the Tour with an eye for a stage win and ambitions for a top-10 finish. While the former remains a possibility, the latter seems unlikely. He sits 22nd on GC — 13:03 down on race leader Thomas Voeckler and nearly seven minutes outside of 10th.
Coppel’s Saur-Sojasun squad, a wildcard invite to the Tour, largely thanks to his own promise as a GC contender, rides Time frames with SRAM Red, Corima wheels, Rotor cranks and FSA cockpits.
Coppel uses Rotor’s ovalized Q-Ring chainrings, along with about half of his teammates. For Sunday’s stage 15, he chose a shallow Corima Winium+ front wheel and deeper Aero+ WCC rear wheel, perhaps worried about the potential for crosswinds during the stage.