Almost a week into this year’s Tour de France, the five top teams represent many of the top cycling brands – especially in Europe. Of special interest is African-born and South African-educated Chris Froome, currently in the yellow jersey and his Team Sky, leading the team classification.
Despite being labelled a UK team, their sponsors have an Italian flavour: cycle brand Pinarello, locally available from ASG Sport Solutions, has been providing their bikes since they entered the World Tour in 2010. Milanese brand, Castelli, who made the controversial aerodynamic speed suits worn during the time trial on day one, has been known for creating cycling clothing breakthroughs. Team Sky recently signed an agreement with Kask Valegro helmets. Froome’s young team mate Geraint Thomas is currently a strong challenger for the top spot.
The best-performing South African in the 2017 Tour de France, Louis Meintjies, is currently #13 in the General Classification (GC) and is also a contender for the Young Rider title, currently at #3. He rides for Team UAE Emirates, who has a bike as well as cycling kit sponsorship from another Italian sports brand, Colnago. They wear helmets from MET.
South Africa’s Darryl Impey, currently #59 in the GC, rides a Scott bike (locally available from Scott Sports SA) for Team Orica-Scott Greenedge, wearing Giordana cycling kit. Like many of the other teams they rely on Shimano components and Continental tyres. His team mate Simon Yates is currently leading the Young Rider Classification.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s South African riders, Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (#82 GC) and Jaco Venter (#99 GC) this year could choose from Cervelo’s S5, R5, R3 Disc and P5 bikes for their races. The Canadian cycling brand is locally available from Two Wheels Trading. Their team kit is locally manufactured by Bioracer South Africa on behalf of Oakley, and is distributed locally by BBT. They also wear Oakley eyewear, MET helmets, use Rotor components and fi’zi:k saddles, among an impressive line-up of sponsors.
Currently #2 in the Team classification, Team BMC, not surprisingly, ride on the Swiss-made BMC cycles in apparel manufactured by Assos. BMC bikes are locally available from Trail and Tar and My Training Day, while their Giro helmets are distributed by Omnico in South Africa. Team leader Richie Porte is currently #5 in the General Classification.
As one would expect, Team Cannondale Drapac, #4 in the Team Classification, rides on Cannondale bikes, locally available from Omnico. They also wear New Balance (New Balance SA) and poc helmets, available from Adventure Inc.