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Old 01-29-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
For the TdF, neutral support isn't really an issue with the cars. Froome's jogging was probably the last time someone took a bike from neutral service, and that was such a freak accident it'll probably be 10 years before it happens again. Generally, if the neutral service car is available, there's a team car not far behind.

It's a major issue for the motorcycles. The motorcycles are usually the only ones available on the steep climbs when the race is on. Between front & rear wheels, the various axle standards, and 11 & 12 speeds it's a nightmare. I have a feeling Shimano is going to have just grab a wheel set from the top 3 GC riders, and for everyone else, good luck. If there's some overlap maybe they can support some other common ones.
A motorcycle can carry probably 6 wheels, so that's likely 2 different front-axles options, 4 rear wheels (11-speed x 2-3 rear axles, 12-speed x 1-2 rear axles).

In some ways this is largely inevitable, the diversity of the peloton is shrinking dramatically. Out of 22 teams at the last TdF it was 3 Campy, 2 SRAM, 17 Shimano. Campy will probably get decent neutral support because Pogacar is defending champion. If you're riding for SRAM, keep riding a flat until the team car gets to you.
The technical issues involved with neutral support have absolutely changed the game for those of us doing it. The old SRAM NRS/Look crew wouldn't bother ever handing out any wheels and would just hand people bikes. They felt it was all they could do and every rider kinda got screwed. They would have been better off with a wheels in/out wheel truck.

As for no one using Mavic - the top guys don't but mavic provided a lot of support to the rest of the guys...the ones that make up the rest of the race. Good teams have multiple cars but some teams don't and sometimes the cars are busy elsewhere in the race. Those riders need bikes too.
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