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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) started the Tour de France on a Specialized S-Works Venge equipped with SRAM’s new Hydraulic Road Rim brakes but has since switched back to mechanical rim brakes.
We spotted Cavendish roll out for a test ride on his hydraulic-ready Venge ahead of stage one and when the British national champion started stage one of the Tour on the same machine, he became the first WorldTour professional to race on the new technology.
Cavendish missed out on the yellow jersey on stage one after being caught behind a huge crash in the closing kilometres and he has since ridden one of three other machines with mechanical rim brakes.
That means the Manx Missile has four Venge’s at his disposal at the Tour de France – tough being a pro, eh? – with three in his personal green and black paintjob, with his C V N D S H logo on the fork and one in team issue Omega Pharma-QuickStep livery.
Cavendish received his custom Venge to celebrate his 100th win as a professional, recorded on stage 12 of the Giro d’Italia. The frame has a matte black base with gloss decals and a metal flake finish, with flashes of green throughout as a nod to the maillot vert won at the Tour de France in 2011.
The 28-year-old’s signature is also reproduced on the bottom bracket, while green stripes on the toptube mark his greatest victories, including the 23 Tour de France stage wins he had listed on his palmares before the start of this year’s race – meaning the bike will need a new lick of paint as Cavendish already has one stage win to his name in 2013.
As for Cavendish’s setup, the 2011 world champion is 5’9″ tall and rides a 52cm frame. His saddle height is 680mm, with a saddle to handlebar drop of 90mm and a saddle to ‘bar reach of 545mm. All up, the SRAM Red-equipped machine weighs a claimed 7.65kg. That’s nearly a kilogram more than the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit – but stiffness and aerodynamics are more important than weight for a man with a finish as fast at Cavendish.
Open the gallery above for a more detailed look at Cavendish’s Venge.