After Lance Armstrong found on L’Alpe d’Huez that he wanted a 22 and did not have it, he did something about it for the beyond-category climbs of the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden today. He once again used a 12-23, but it was not a standard cog distribution. He had an extra two-tooth gap lower down and used one-tooth gaps at the top.
The smallest two cogs were titanium on his cassette, while the last seven of his nine cogs were blue aluminum Specialities T.A. on his Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL wheel. The top three cogs were 21-22-23 (so the entire set went 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-22-23). The front inner chainring was a 39.
Again, he used his climbing bike with a down tube front shifter, titanium bolts replacing the standard ones in his brake calipers, and his Trek Superlight frame, but, of course, his pedals were still his old faithful Shimano Looks.
My look at other bikes at the finish indicated that most all of the riders were using standard Shimano 9-speed 12-23s or Campagnolo 10-speed 12-23s.