Six seasons since his departure from Team Sky, Richie Porte has returned to the British team now known as the Ineos Grenadiers.
In that time, the team has unsurprisingly undergone various levels of change: Behind the scenes, the team has seen a restructure of management duties following the death of Nico Portal; Froome’s recent departure means the end of an era with regards to team leadership; and with the departure of Sky as a sponsor, the team has since been given two new names, firstly Team Ineos, and more recently the Ineos Grenadiers. Dave Brailsford has even spoken of a new, more exciting and less clinical approach to racing.
However, during all this, the team’s equipment sponsors have remained largely unaffected. In fact, the majority of differences come in the form of technological advancement, rather than switching to another sponsor or supplier.
The team has remained aboard Pinarello ever since its inception in 2010. During Porte’s final season, the team rode the Dogma F8 for road racing and the Bolide TT for time trials. Porte has skipped the team’s era on the Dogma F10, and will return to the team’s third season aboard the latest Dogma F12.
The Dogma F12 is available to the public with disc brakes, however, for reasons pertaining to weight, Ineos Grenadiers are once again committed to the bike’s rim brake variant for the 2021 season and Porte will be one of very few riders making the transition back from disc brakes to rim brakes, following his departure from the SRAM-equipped bikes of Trek Segafredo.
For training, Porte and co are supplied with wheels that feature an aluminium brake track, as opposed to carbon. This is no doubt cheaper for whoever foots the bill, but it undoubtedly also offers better performance during bad weather. When racing resumes, the team will return to Dura-Ace C60 or C40 tubular wheels, and the hyper-light Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels for the mountainous days.
For time trials, Porte left the team as the reigning Australian National time trial champion, and for his final season at the team, he rode a custom-painted Pinarello Bolide TT. That bike has been given a small update in Porte’s time away, and the team has invested in Princeton Carbonworks sinusoidal (wavy) rims.
Another change comes in the form of the Shimano groupset. In Porte’s final season, Team Sky were running Dura-Ace 9050 Di2. After two years using SRAM Red eTap AXS, Porte returns to the most recent iteration of Shimano Dura-Ace, R9150. That said, Porte was always partial to hacking in a pair of Shimano sprint shifters to work with his SRAM groupset.
However, rumours of a new Dura-Ace groupset continue at full steam and by the time the season ends, Porte and his Ineos teammates could be running an altogether new drivetrain.
In all, there are just two changes when it comes to equipment sponsors, but even they come due to innovations and advancements from pre-existing sponsors. Porte’s power was previously measured by Stages, but since Shimano introduced its own Dura-Ace crank-based power meter, Ineos have taken advantage. In addition, since Pinarello’s bikes started being equipped with components from MOST, the brand’s own components subsidiary, the team has used MOST components in place of Pro.
The other big technological advancement that has swept the peloton in the time since Porte left Team Sky is the introduction of tubeless tyres. But even despite Porte’s 2015 Giro d’Italia experience, Ineos remain steadfast in their commitment to tubular tyres.
|Frame||Pinarello Dogma F8||Pinarello Dogma F12|
|Groupset||Shimano Dura-Ace 9050 Di2||Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2|
|Brakes||Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Rim||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 Rim|
|Wheelset||Shimano Dura-Ace C35 tubular||Shimano Dura-Ace C40 / C60 tubular|
|Power Meter||Stages||Shimano Dura-Ace|
|Pedals||Shimano Dura-Ace 9000||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100|
|Tyres||Continental Pro Ltd Tubular||Continental Pro Ltd Tubular|
|Computer||Garmin Edge 520||Garmin|