Mark Cavendish (Team
Columbia) has been setting the professional road race scene alight with
his blazing sprints, racking up an impressive number of wins in a very short
space of time. For Cavendish to excel in the super fast sprints of the Tour,
he needs a fast bike, and in the Giant TCR Advanced SL, we think he might just
have the fastest bike.
Cavendish celebrates – (Pic Geoff
Giant’s TCR Advanced has been around for a few years, but for 2008 we’ve
spotted Cavendish campaigning aboard its replacement, the all-new TCR Advanced
SL. Giant have been busy working on making this new frameset a significant technological
leap forward, with changes designed to make it lighter and stiffer.
Giant have beefed this frame up, with press-fit bottom bracket bearings allowing
the use of a wide 80mm downtube. As well as being wider, the downtube is also
a rounded square shape and flares into the oversized and tapered headtube. Inside,
a 1 1/8” to 1 ¼” steerer is the current trend sweeping the
cycling world and provides a much stiffer front-end.
The top tube is trapezoidal shaped to stiffen the chassis, and the integrated
seat mast is said to allow some flex for seated comfort. Seatstays are thin
affairs and the dropouts are aluminium – Giant preferring to stay away
from carbon dropouts for now. To eliminate rubbing your legs on the rear brake
cable housing, Giant has routed it through the top tube, and it pops out on
the underside where it continues to the front of the frame – it also allows
a straight cable route.
All these changes to the frame should result in a bike that will hopefully
help Cavendish to take a few stage wins in this years Tour.
Cavendish’s Giant rolls on Zipp wheels and a full 2009 Shimano Dura-Ace