Specialized and Mark Cavendish
Specialized and Mark Cavendish
By pure chance or by design, Mark Cavendish, the fastest sprinter on the planet, is back aboard Specialized bikes for 2013 and has already grabbed one stage win for his new bike sponsor – we can envisage Mike Sinyard and the rest of the Specialized execs dancing from the rooftops…
We know that Specialized and the fastest sprinter in the world, Mark Cavendish have enjoyed a good relationship ever since his Columbia High Road days. If the rumours are to be believed, it was ‘good’ enough for Specialized to try and replace Pinarello as the SKY team’s official bike supplier when Cavendish was there.
With Specialized being such a forward thinking company it seems to have been a mutual appreciation as well, with Cav keen to be aboard Specialized, after all their bikes have powered Cavendish to some fantastic wins. Well for 2013 Cav is back on Specialized bikes and in particular the Venge, a bike which he helped develop and took him to multiple Tour de France stages and the World Road Race title.
Specialized will have been painfully aware that whilst Cav rode for SKY aboard a Pinarello, the Venge almost seemed to disappear from the headlines as much of the focus shifted to the new Specialized Roubaix and Tarmac SL4s favoured by most of their sponsored riders and particularly by classics king, Tom Boonen. With Cav back on board and a team dedicated to supporting him, the Venge can expect front page headlines on a regular basis once again.
Surprisingly given Cavs quest to stiffen every component – just think about that enormous Pro Star Series stem he helped develop – we believe that the Venge is not the stiffest frame in the world but given the high speeds he sprints at, Cav seems to be much more interested in the aerodynamic qualities of this superbike. Cav also moves onto Zipp wheels and SRAM components for 2013.
True to form in the video below, he does discuss the increased stiffness built into his new white Specialized shoes which have replaced his trademark black Nike cycling shoes. We assume that this was part of the deal when joining his new team Omega Pharma Quickstep and nothing to do with the fallout from up-until-recently Nike sponsored Lance Armstrong, nor negative comments about his black shoes made by the notoriously harsh cycling fashion police.
We are sure Specialized are over the moon to have their golden boy join Boonen, Martin, Chavanel et al at Omega Pharma Quick Step. As cycling fans we too are over the same moon and cannot wait to see him in action. Cav has certainly started the season well, winning stage 1 of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Even if his new team mates might be nervously pondering a season ahead of them working doubly hard to chase down breaks and set-up sprint, after sprint, after sprint, it bodes well for his new team, Omega Pharma Quick Step and for Cav’s chances in the Tour de France this July; but it also bodes very well for Specialized and an increase in bike sales.