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David Gaudu and Groupama-FDJ's new Lapierre Xelius SL

Will Strickson
30 Jun 2021

Check out the new model that Gaudu and co are racing on at the Tour de France

French manufacturer Lapierre's new Xelius SL model has been deployed for the services of David Gaudu and his Groupama-FDJ team at the Tour de France.

Lapierre says the third generation of its specialist climber's bike has a new, more aggressive geometry for faster handling. It also features reconfigured tube shapes and full cable integration to make it more aerodynamic, although details were scarce on the quantitative improvements of the redesign.

To build in better aerodynamic efficiency but maintain the Xelius's well-known light weight, Lapierre says it opted to employ a new carbon fibre construction that uses Ultra High Modulus carbon fibre in several areas. 

A proprietary, superlight carbon fibre cockpit backs up the feathery credentials of the frameset nicely.

Lapierre has been partnered with Groupama-FDJ for 20 years, so develops each new racing bike with the team with the hopes of bringing success to the likes of Thibaut Pinot and, more recently, Gaudu.

On the new bike, Gaudu said before the Tour, 'I had the chance to use the new Xelius SL on the Critérium du Dauphiné, a race that allowed me to find good intensities before the start of the Tour de France. And the first sensations were excellent.

'Reactivity, agility, the bike responds perfectly on difficult terrain. Its weight is optimised, and not to spoil anything, the new design is magnificent.'

Head of Groupama-FDJ Performance Unit, Frédéric Grappe, said, 'The new Xelius SL3 is a technological evolution of the SL2. The stiffness-comfort ratio has been optimised while improving aerodynamics and weight to meet the demands of riders.

'The evolution of its geometry allows for riding at high speed in complete safety while preserving an excellent handling. Finally, with all of its wiring fully integrated, the SL3 refines its overall lines to become a very clean machine.'

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