Tour de France Tech 2014: Vincenzo Nibali's Tour de France winning Specialized Tarmac

The bike that won the Tour de France. Plus Rafal Majka’s polka dot special

by David Arthur @davearthur   July 31, 2014  

So customary is it for the winner of the Tour de France to receive a specially painted bicycle to parade around the Champs-Élysées in Paris quaffing champagne, that we’d be shocked if a manufacturer didn’t pull out something special.

Specialized didn’t disappoint, delivering 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali a customised Tarmac for the final stage of the race. They steered clear of the obvious route of painting everything yellow however, and matched the black base colour with yellow decals and graphics. There’s a small picture of a yellow jersey on the top of the top tube.

As Tour special bikes go, it’s rather restrained. It’s a bit less garish than the all yellow Dogma that both Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins rode in 2013 and 2012 respectively. We’re certain Pinarello had a new Dogma F8 painted yellow in anticipation of Froome winning the race, we’ll just have to wait until next year to see that bike. Maybe.

Corima delivered yellow stickered wheels to match the frame. Look did the same with pedals. Campagnolo supplied yellow hoods for the Super Record mechanical groupset. FSA produced a yellow stem, handlebar and seatpost to add to the build. Yellow bar tape completes the bike. 

Of course Nibali had already been racing aboard a custom painted ‘shark’ bike already, we got a good look at it before the Grand Depart. Here it is.

Nibali rode the new Specialized Tarmac that the US company unveiled earlier this year, and introduces size-specific carbon fibre layup to the Tarmac range for the first time. It’s also available with disc brakes, in likely anticipation of the UCI ratifying disc brakes in the next couple of years. 

Also sponsored by Specialized, Rafal Majka was seen riding a very custom Tarmac on the final stage of the Tour de France. We’ve only got this one photo, but you can see that they applied the iconic red polka dots to the white Specialized decals on the frame and wheels.

Peter Sagan was another rider to receive a specially painted bike to match his green jersey. Cannondale painted up his SuperSix Evo with a glittery green paint job complete with flames and lightning rods.  

8 user comments

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You also have to appreciate the restraint shown on Majka's bike. I was happy to see that Majka (and Tony Martin) showed restraint and wore standard team shorts with his polka dot jersey for most of the stages. He did appear to be in a full polka-dotted kit for the final stage, but it even appeared to be much more nicely done than some of the garish polka dot disasters of years past (i.e. Europcar).

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [306 posts]
31st July 2014 - 14:48


I like it, although to be honest, any colour scheme that steers Nibali away from that vile Astana blue is ok by me!

I trust Specialized didn't produce anything to commemorate Alberto's tour - a limited edition pre-cracked frame perhaps?

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [156 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:08


And Specialized have just announced they have started legal proceedings against the McAdam family for infringing upon the trademarked name of Tarmac. Angry

posted by Gus T [131 posts]
31st July 2014 - 16:52


Cracking photos - anyone know who took them?

posted by njmoffat [23 posts]
31st July 2014 - 22:51


njmoffat wrote:
Cracking photos - anyone know who took them?

From their website ( it says -

Iri Greco

Iri is co-owner of BrakeThrough Media with Jim Fryer. She is a former chef, food stylist, and TV Producer. She got hooked on filming cycling on Easter Sunday 2009 in the Arenberg forest. In her spare time, she has been spotted making her sister’s wedding cake in Puerto Rico, surfing in Mexico, cooking risotto on campfires in Calabria, snapping photos in her native Brooklyn, and plotting the transformation of mankind.

Jim Fryer

Jim is co-owner of BrakeThrough Media with Iri Greco. Jim is a former bike racer, bike shop owner, cycling apparel manufacturer, and sports marketing professional. Jim never thought he'd call himself a foodie until he met Iri. He loves riding bikes but he likes photographing cycling even more. In his spare time, he's searching out the perfect beer.

Looks like there are some equally lovely photos on it. Gives me something to aspire to!

posted by macrophotofly [123 posts]
1st August 2014 - 1:23


Thank you!

posted by njmoffat [23 posts]
1st August 2014 - 2:41


Still, would've been fun to see polka dot bar tape, as well as the reaction of the mechanic assigned to putting it on, with instructions to make sure the dots line up just right Big Grin

But I agree, get it wrong and it all goes garish in a hurry, good thing it's not leopard print!

thesaladdays's picture

posted by thesaladdays [96 posts]
1st August 2014 - 13:29


Lovely job on His Nibs' bike. Very Italian, I think! Applause Specialised.

Fran the Man

posted by Fran The Man [80 posts]
1st August 2014 - 19:43