Tour Tech 2011: Chavanel's Bastille Day bike
French road race champion gets a paintjob to match his jersey

It's Bastille Day, and that means plenty of jingoistic flag waving and obligatory French riders in the break trying to bring the stage home pour l'hexagone – Kadri, Mangel and Roy wear the burden of France's expectation for the moment. And French road race champ Sylvain Chavanel will be wearing the tricolore with pride today, across his chest and also on his specially painted Merckx EMX-5.

Yup, Chavanel's among the riders with a custom paintjob today (more on Voeckler's special bike soon), a patriotic red, white and blue affair with his nickname, 'La Machine', emblazoned on the seat tube. White finishing kit, bar tape and lever hoods complete the look; let's hope it isn't a muddy one today, eh. And at least one member of the road.cc office is hoping that he takes that special bike and points it uphill, at speed, to both honour the French nation and land some big Fantasy Cycling points...

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.