Cycling Pogačar’s Flanders winning Colnago V4Rs
We take a closer look at Pogi's Ronde-winning race bike.
Tadej Pogačar dominated the 2023 Tour of Flanders, arriving in Oudenaarde solo to take add “De Ronde” to his Liege and Lombardy monuments haul.
He did so on Colnago’s new V4Rs, and while the frame marque is a familiar one to the Slovenian phenom, almost every other aspect of the Team UAE Emirates bikes has changed since “Pogi’s” last monument win just six short months ago in northern Italy.
Escape Collective visited the Team UAE-Emirates team hotel after the team’s final Flanders recon to check out the rig Pogačar would ride to victory just two days later.
Enve, Shimano, and Continental all signed on to supply Pogačar and Team UAE-Emirates for the 2023 season – an envious list of names to add to the iconic Colnago marque the team already listed amongst its suppliers. All in, Pogačar’s updated Colnago in Ronde-winning spec weighed in at 7.6 kg on the Escape Collective scales, including empty bidons, pedals, and head unit. Dropped seat stays, because is there really another option in this all-rounder bike category these days? No surprises with the 160 mm rotor up front and a 140 at the rear. Pogačar has seemingly almost always opted for the Enve SES 4.5 so far this season. Team UAE-Emirates use these unbranded 3D-printed frame number mounts, although we did see other teams using similar mounts branded with the RaceWare name. Prologo, in addition to Colnago, is the only other supplier carried over from 2022. Tadej gets his custom Scratch M5 saddle with the Slovenian flag incorporated into the Prologo emblem and a hint of yellow as a nod to that French bike race. Colnago officially introduced the V4Rs in December, but the frame is effectively the same with which Pogi raced for the second half of the 2022 season under the “Prototipo” working title as Colnago finalised the development of its new all-rounder frame. The simple Richard Mille watch brand sponsor stickers are retained for 2023, but Pogačar now opts for the Enve Aero stem and Aero bar. Enve has offered both the bar and stem for years already but arguably was ahead of its time with such an aero-focused two-piece setup. The aero setup now also offers internal cable routing, which, for better or worse, is now a must on World Tour rigs. Romain Bardet-style drop angle Pogi opts for a modest (by today’s standards) inward angle with his Dura-Ace levers. The Enve aero bar design incorporates a flared drop, with Pogačar’s particular size offering a 37 cm width at the hoods and 42 cm on the drops. Love me some aero profiling! Team UAE-Emirates has switched its tyre supplier for the second consecutive season, with Continental replacing Pirelli for 2023. Unsurprisingly, the team opts for Conti’s hugely popular GP5000 S TR. As best we could tell, the entire team opted for 30 mm-wide tyres for De Ronde, which makes sense given the 32 mm external rim width on the Enve SES 4.5 wheelset. The 32 mm external rim width is just slightly above the recommended 105% rim-to-tyre width ratio said to provide optimal aerodynamic efficiency. That said, Enve does suggest 27-28 mm tyres is the aero optimal tyre width for the 4.5s. The “ inevitable” Pogačar. Wahoo is also new to Team UAE for 2023, with Pogi opting for the Elemnt Bolt (2.0) head unit. The team was using SRM’s PC8 head unit in recent years, but SRM is now entirely gone from the team’s 2023 bikes. Pogačar’s bike has Shimano’s new R9200P power meter to match the R9200 12-speed Dura-Ace groupset. The R9200P replaces the SRM PM9 on UAE’s team bikes. Pogačar’s use of the problematic power meter is perhaps the one example were a power meter reading low is a good thing. 54-40T, but of course. 170 mm-long crankarms for 1.77 m-tall Pogi. K-Edge provides the #takenochances chain catcher. CeramicSpeed has partnered with select brands to offer its SLT headset bearings. The Danish brand claims the SLT bearings offers improved durability and reduces the need for bearing replacements. Initially only available with new frames, CeramicSpeed is building its list of aftermarket SLT options. It’s a welcome addition for internal cable routing setups, even if more durable bearings doesn’t fix many mechanic’s gripes with internal cable routing. What did you think of this story?
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