Vuelta a Espana champion Alberto Contador tamed the super-steep climbs and ten summit finishes of this year’s race with the help of a SRAM Red WiFLi-equipped Specialized SL4.
Contador’s long-time mechanic, Faustino Munoz Cambron, fitted the Spaniard’s Specialized SL4 with Red WiFLi ahead of the first stage in Pamplona and Contador used an 11-28t cassette through the race, and utilised a 32t sprocket for the steepest stages, which allowed El Pistolero to maintain his trademark high cadence.
SRAM’s entry-level Apex groupset was unveiled in 2010 with a mid-cage WiFLi rear mech capable of carrying an 11-32t cassette and earlier this year the American firm announced it was to introduce the technology to its Force and top-end Red groupsets.
WiFLi – which stands for Wider, Faster, Lighter – started life at the 2008 Giro d’Italia, where SRAM custom built Contador a 34×30 compact chainset for stage 16; a 12.8km mountain time trial on unpaved roads of up to 25 per cent. Contador also used a SRAM Apex rear mech at the 2011 Giro.
SRAM’s Red WiFLi rear mech weighs 167g – carbon fibre inner links, carbon cages, titanium hardware and ceramic bearings help keep the weight low – and costs £314.99.