A high speed windswept Stage 16 took the race to the foothills of the Alps. German Team Sunweb rode strongly on the front of the peloton in an attempt to split the race and isolate Marcel Kittel. It was a strategy that worked and saw the charismatic Australian Michael Matthews win both the intermediate and final sprints. He picked up 50 points in the green jersey leaving him just 29 points behind Kittel. Frenchman Warren Barguil is also having a great tour, winning Stage 13 on Bastille Day and leading the King of the Mountains contest by 79 points as the race enters the Alps. Sunweb have access to Giant's full range of bikes. The TCR Advanced SL is the all purpose lightweight climbing machine For flatter stages the Propel Advanced SL is their Aero bike. Cobbled Classics see them roll out the disc brake equipped Defy Advanced SL.
Giant is the biggest bike brand in the world and manufactures bikes for a number of other big name brands. They might not carry the same cool factor as more exclusive manufactures but they've been responsible for some of the major innovations in road bike design over the last decades. The sloping top tube "compact" design that nearly all modern road bikes now use originated with their 1998 ONCE pro team bikes designed by the legendary Mike Burrows. The smaller triangles of a compact frame are inherently stiffer and with less material used are lighter too. Giant were also largely responsible for making the first truly affordable carbon bike frames.</p>
<p>Their economies of scale mean that their bikes are always score well for value for money. Each frame model is generally available in 3 different specs. The lightest is the 'Advanced SL' used by the pro team. The Advanced Pro uses a cheaper grade of carbon and the Advanced has an aluminium, rather than carbon, fork steerer. The Liv brand is used for Giant's female specific frames.