Pro bike: Lizzie Armitstead's custom Specialized S-Works Amira SL4

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Pro bike: Lizzie Armitstead’s custom world champion’s Specialized S-Works Amira SL4

One-off design for new world champion's rainbow jersey year

Lizzie Armitstead has enjoyed a stellar season, winning the overall UCI Women’s Road World Cup for the second year running before being crowned world champion in Richmond, Virginia last month.

And to celebrate the Yorkshire-born rider’s success, Specialized have presented Armitstead with a custom-painted S-Works Amira SL4 to ride through the 2016 season.

Armitstead won the world title ahead of Anna van der Breggen and Megan Guarnier, and her white Amira includes rainbow detailing in a trivalent pattern to mark that triumph.

“Normally when I think of strength, I think black for bikes but this time I really wanted Lizzie’s bike to stand out and reflect her,” said Lauren Parento, Specialized’s lead graphic designer for women’s bikes.

“I chose a white base to nod to her classiness and help her stand out amongst the team’s dark bikes and other riders. We incorporated a fine rainbow flake into the paint to tie into the WC rainbow and bring the white base to life. When Lizzie looks at the top tube, while she is riding, the sun will highlight the sparkle and help her reflect back on her memory of that day.”

The Amira is Specialized’s flagship women’s specific bike and Armistead’s machine is equipped with a SRAM Red 22 drivetrain and brakes (Armitstead hasn’t been treated to SRAM’s new eTap wireless electronic groupset just yet), Specialized S-Works carbon crankset and Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels.

The finishing kit also comes from Zipp, with Armitstead, who won the world road race in a sprint, using the oversized Zipp SL145 carbon fibre stem, as well as a Zipp handlebar and seatpost. A women’s-specific Specialized Ruby Pro saddle completes the build.

Armitstead is the latest of 11 world champions who have ridden a Specialized bike to victory to get a custom machine for their rainbow jersey year, with Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who ensured it was a double victory for the bike brand in Richmond, getting a custom Specialized S-Works Tarmac, which he then rode at the Abu Dhabi Tour earlier this month.

Armitstead’s season, on the other hand, ended after the World Championships, so we’re unlikely to see the 26-year-old on her new bike until the Ladies Tour of Qatar in February – a race in which she won the overall title, points classification and two stages in 2015.

“It is always so exciting and a privilege to design a bike for a champion,” continued Specialized designer Parenti. “Lizzie is super classy and her World Championship bike should represent that, but it should also remind her how amazing and strong she was that day. It needs to be bold and timeless.”

See more of Armitstead’s bike in the gallery below.

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