Mark Cavendish's change from Team Sky to Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013 will see him back on the bike that brought him some of his biggest wins: the Specialized McLaren Venge. We've been given a sneak peek at Cavendish's new rig before he starts racing on it.
Launched at the start of 2011, the Venge is still the flagship aero machine in Specialized's road racing arsenal. The McLaren version is the cream of the crop, being developed with the UK-based high performance automotive manufacturer McLaren.
Cavendish's 2013 bike is different to the one he raced on in 2011 due to Omega Pharma having different component sponsors compared to his then team HTC. While the frame is the same, pretty much everything else is different. SRAM, Zipp and Quarq have taken over from Shimano, PRO and SRM.Cavendish will now have to get used to mechanical shifting again as he's using SRAM Red instead of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 7970 electronic. Similarly the brakes, chain, cassette and chainrings are all SRAM Red.
His power meter has now changed from and SRM to a Quarq, and based on his QuickView computer mount he will be using a Garmin of some sort to record his power. Whether he goes with the smaller Garmin Edge 500 or the new Garmin Edge 510 (or possibly the Edge 810) remains to be seen.
The cockpit consists of a Zipp 145SL carbon stem with what look to be Zipp SL bars, although it's difficult to tell whether they're the aluminium or carbon versions. Cav's other contact points are on a Specialized Romin Team saddle and a set of Look KeO pedals. Keeping things aero are the Zipp 808 Firecrest carbon tubular wheels fitted with low rolling resistance Specialized Turbo Tubular Team tyres. A pair of Tacx Tao bottle cages completethe package.
As for overall weight, when we last weight Cavendish's bike it was surprisingly 'heavy' at 7.65kg. But with the switch to a lighter groupset and componentry we wouldn't be surprised if his 2013 McLaren Venge came in a lot closer to the 7kg mark.