The Ultimate Test

The Ultimate Test

There is no greater reward for us at Roval than to see our wheels crossing the finish line beneath a victorious rider. We care deeply about competition. We accept the losses. We understand the sacrifice. We know the hard miles, the dedication, the pain. They are all part of racing. But, man, it feels good to win. Especially this year, when for several months the whole world sat in limbo wondering if racing would ever really be the same again.

Pro racing is back in action, and it has been a fast and furious resumption of a truncated season. It looks and feels more visceral, more intense, than ever, and there is a peloton of wily old veterans squaring up alongside a host of young contenders with big motors and the fearlessness of youth. And we have some new wheels out in the field that we’ve just been itching to get under the pros to see what they do with them.

Nobody personifies the glory and the heartbreak of pro racing more than Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Remco Evenepoel. The 20-year old phenom started the season on a tear; he served notice back in February by taking the overall win at the Vuelta a San Juan Internacional, then racked up two more victories once post-covid19 racing resumed, taking the overall again at the Volta ao Algarve and the Vuelta a Burgos. He capped these achievements with the overall victory in the Tour of Poland, which he sealed with a dramatic 51km solo breakaway on the penultimate fourth stage of the race. In so doing he showed the world what our new Rapide and Alpinist wheels are capable of in the hands of a truly gifted racer. We were eager to see how his form would hold in Le Tour.

Then Remco’s season was brutally truncated, after he fractured his pelvis in a horrifying crash on a descent 40km from the finish of Il Lombardia.

And now it’s two weeks later. Remco just took his first steps again, and here we are heading into stage three of Le Tour De France.

The opening stage of cycling’s most storied race was fought around a hilly circuit around Nice in driving rain. It will be remembered not only as one of the hillier opening stages to Le Tour, but as possibly the most crash-fraught Tour stage ever. Pure carnage. No team came through unscathed. Then, under sunnier skies and in even hillier conditions the next day, Julian Alaphilippe pounded out a daring late race charge to snatch the stage victory and emerge from the chaos of these opening rounds with the coveted Maillot Jaune. His acceleration to make the late break is beautiful to watch; pure athletic poetry.

As proud parents, we have to note that Julian won that stage aboard the climber’s dream wheels – Alpinist CLX. (And not only did he win the stage, but he did it on tubed clinchers! Shocker! This might be a first for a Tour stage…

We invest ourselves totally in our craft. We want to make what is best for our athletes, and what is best for you. We designed the Alpinist CLX to dominate climbs and provide rugged everyday durability in the most punishing conditions, and we consider the Rapide CLX to be “the fastest all-round wheelset that money can buy.” For much of the Tour of Poland, Remco Evenepoel chose Rapide CLX wheels, and their knockout combination of supreme aerodynamics, exceptional stability, and the kind of light weight that makes them a joy to hammer up, down and everywhere. When it came time to deliver the Stage 2 coup de grace in Le Tour De France, Alpinist CLX wheels were there to sharpen Julian’s blade.

There is no more demanding arena than the pro peloton. When great riders achieve their wins while riding our wheels, that is the ultimate validation for us, the final reward for all the painstaking thousands of hours spent designing and testing and finally producing the wheels that ultimately carry these athletes to victory. If our wheels can help Remco win in the crucible of WorldTour racing, if they can help Julian pull that yellow jersey over his slender climber’s shoulders, think what they might be able to do for you out in the real world.

And damn, doesn’t it feel good to have races and racers to cheer for again?

More From The Journal

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Sam Bennett rode the sprinter’s green jersey into Paris on Sunday, resplendent aboard a matching green Specialized Tarmac SL7, and sealed a hard fought campaign with an emphatic final sprint victory on the famous Champs-Élysées. More