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Check out Oliver Naesen's steel Eddy Merckx to be ridden on Stage 21 of the Tour de France

Joe Robinson
28 Jul 2019

Belgian Classics star to prove steel is real on run to the Champs-Elysees

AG2R La Mondiale's Oliver Naesen will become a fully signed-up member of the 'steel is real' club as he rides the Champs-Elysees later today thanks to the Belgian racing Stage 21 of the Tour de France on a special edition steel Eddy Merckx bike.

The 28-year-old will swap his carbon fibre race bike for a new Eddy Merckx Corsa steel frame to cover the 127km stage into Paris as the brand named after cycling's most successful rider ever relaunches its high-end steel bike range.

Naesen will compete on what quite the stunning custom-painted white and gold frame, designed to look like the very bikes that Merckx himself would have raced on 50 years ago in 1969 when he won his first Tour de France yellow jersey.

However, unlike Merckx, Naesen's bike will be taking advantage of some very modern technology which has helped steel become a material that can be raced on alongside carbon fibre.

Steel tube specialists Colombus provides a mixture of its Xcr stainless steel and its lightweight Sprint HSSt tubing while the bike is dressed with the usual component providers tha sponsor the French WorldTour team.

The crankset will be Rotor's 2inPower crank while the remainder of the groupset will be mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace run with external cabbling and a KMC chain.

A Deda SuperZero stem and handlebar add some carbon fibre performance to the steel frame while the handlebars will also be wrapped in pristine white handlebar tape, too. Deda also provides its Zero100 seatpost which is topped with a Fizik Antares R1 saddle.

Naesen will run Mavic Cosmic Pro carbon wheels fitted with Vredestein Fortezza Senso T tyres.

While Naesen will likely enjoy his opportunity to race on something a little different today, it's all ultimately part of Eddy Merckx promoting its MyCorsa and ReadyMade project for consumers like us.

Consisting of the Corsa road bike, Hageland gravel bike and Criterium urban road bike, buyers will have the opportunity to buy high-end steel bikes dressed under the name of one of the sport's true legends with full customisability.

This includes details such as colour scheme and design to whether you want internal cables or external bearings with prices starting for the frame and forks sets at €3,299.