Nairo Quintana (Movistar) used the Route du Sud to fine-tune his form ahead of the Tour de France – and to run the rule over his new bike.
Canyon have just unveiled
the latest version of the Ultimate CF SLX and Movistar used the four-stage Route du Sud to test the bike, eventually finishing second overall behind Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo). We’ve already shown you El Pistolero’s custom Specialized S-Works Tarmac from the race.
Canyon launch ‘more comfortable and more aerodynamic’ 2016 Ultimate CF SLX
The build-up to the Tour de France typically sees bike manufacturers launch their latest, greatest machine, with
Bianchi, Lapierre, Trek and Specialized among the other companies to have done just that this summer, and the races that lead up to the Tour – the Criterium du Dauphine, Tour de Suisse and Route du Sud – give key riders on those teams the chance to get to grips with their new bikes.
The fourth iteration of the Ultimate CF SLX seeks to combine low weight (just 780g), with improved aerodynamics and comfort. We’ve already brought you the
full tech story from the launch, so now let’s take a closer look at the bike on which Quintana will attempt to win the Tour de France.
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Primed for the Tour
Nairo Quintana will start the 2015 Tour de France as one of four favourites for the general classification, along with Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali - and the Colombian will be armed with a new machine for his assault on the title, this Canyon Ultimate CF SLX. It's an XS small frame, if you were wondering, and we think it looks very fetching in Movistar's blue and green colours.
The Ultimate is Canyon's super-light bike and is now on its fourth iteration with this model year 2016 machine. Canyon have given the frame an aerodynamic makeover, while still maintaining a claimed weight of just 780g. Particular attention has been paid to the downtube, which now has a rounder D-shape profile said to decrease the separation of airflow from the tube. Canyon say the new shape does reduce the stiffness of the downtube a little, but the broad, flat toptube and wide-set seatstays are designed to combat this.
There's also a new fork, which adopts a similar profile to the downtube, with a truncated trailing edge designed to slip through the wind, and that applies to the seattube and seatstays, too. The fork weighs a claimed 295g. Canyon have also reworked the front-end by using a tapered 1-1/4″ fork steerer housed in a sleek, hourglass headtube to reduce the Ultimate's frontal profile.
Canyon had a three-pronged aim for this latest version of the Ultimate: to reduce drag by ten per cent, improve comfort by ten perfect, while maintaining the impressive stiffness-to-weight ratio of the previous Ultimate. Aerodynamics, we've covered, but as for comfort, Canyon have used an innovative seatpost clamp which essentially takes the clamp from its typical position at the exit of the seattube and moves it down to the junction of the seatstays and seattube. This frees up more of the seatpost for deflection, thereby improving comfort.
Movistar are one of three WorldTour teams sponsored by Campagnolo, alongside Nibali's Astana squad and Andre Greipel's Lotto-Soudal. Quintana's bike is dressed in a complete Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic groupset. The wheels also come from the Italian firm and we snapped Quintana's machine with Campag's Bora Ultra 50 hoops, wrapped in Continental Competition Pro Ltd tubular tyres.
Power2Max are another of Movistar's sponsors, also supplying power meters to Etixx-QuickStep. 'Nairoman' gets a rather nice custom crank-spider on his power meter, noting the 25-year-old's 2014 Giro d'Italia victory. Quintana's palmares also includes a second place finish at the 2013 Tour de France, when he finished runner-up behind Froome, while also securing the best young rider and King of the Mountains jerseys. Can Quintana top the Tour podium this time out?
Quintana's power meter sends data to this Garmin Edge 510, held on a simple Garmin out-front mount. Quintana uses an all-aluminium Canyon-branded cockpit, with the H16 handlebar measuring 41cm in width, with a reach of 70mm and drop of 130mm. At the other end of the bike, Quintana sits on a Fizik Antares saddle.
We photographed Quintana's bike ahead of the final stage of the Route du Sud. Just before the start of the stage, Quintana rolled over to the Colombia-Coldeportes camper van, with his compatriots using the opportunity to run the rule over the new bike.