Featuring Gilbert's BMC, Greipel's Ridley, Wijnant's Giant, Cipollinis, motivational messages, more on Cav's wheels and all sorts of other racing goodness

If you enjoyed checking out the bikes in our previous Milan-San Remo story you're in luck because snap-happy Simon took plenty more pictures before the start. If you spot something that we've missed, please leave a comment at the bottom. It's good to share...

Rabobank race on the Giant TCR Advanced SL and the Defy Advanced SL which look very similar although the one up top (main pic) is the Defy Advanced SL. The team sometimes use this bike for longer distance races and rougher terrain. This is the mount of Maarten Tjallingii of the Netherlands, by the way, and that’s a Fizik saddle perched on top of the integrated seat post – an Arione, by the look of it.

This is the TCR Advanced SL, the one belonging to Maarten Wijnants of Belgium, and it’s Dura-Aced up to the max – that’s DA of the electronic Di2 variety. The pedals are Dura-Ace too – the current composite model.

That’s a carbon/alloy Vibe stem up there from Shimano’s sub-brand Pro.

If you have an interest in bottle cages – and everyone has to have a hobby – this is the Tao Carbon model from Dutch brand Tacx. Weighing just 29g, it’s one of the lightest cages out there.

Although the Rabobank wheels are stickered up as Shimano, they don’t look like anything from the current Shimano range. The rims look about 50mm deep, the spokes are bladed and the nipples are hidden inside the rim. There’s a Dura-Ace logo on the hub too, so these are likely to be prototypes. Oh no, hang on, the UCI don’t let you race on prototypes so they must be wheels that will be coming to market shortly. Those are Vittoria Corsa Evo CX tubs – we know that for sure.

Ridley provide Noah bikes for Lotto Belisol and this is the F-Splitfork which has blades that are, well, split down the middle. It’s all about aerodynamics, the idea is to reduce turbulence and drag. Notice the F-brake integrated into the fork legs too. It’s essentially a linear-pull cantilever design, the main point being that it’s sheltered away from the wind.

That interesting piece of artwork adorns the front end of the bike belonging to German Sprinter André Greipel. It’s a gorilla, a reference to Greipel’s nickname which is… um, Gorilla. We’ve seen better pictures of gorillas. Check out the full gorilla story on Canyon’s website.

That stem is the Attacco 35 from Deda – 3D forged aluminium alloy. Loads of the pros and nearly all of the sprinters use alloy stems for extra stiffness over carbon fibre. Cav is the exception there. And it true racing style, Greipel has the stem slammed right down onto the top of the headset without any spacers in there.

The Ridley Noah has split chainstays that mimic the F-Splitfork and the rear brake is again integrated into the structure. We’re not convinced that using the gap as a convenient anchor for a sensor is entirely what the designers had in mind, but needs must. Those are Campag Bora Ultra wheels, by the way, with full-carbon rims – very nice if you can afford them, or your sponsors give you a few pairs.

Last year it was just Movistar who were running Campagnolo’s electronic shifting componentry but that has been extended out now that the two EPS ranges have been launched (although getting your hands on any is easier said than done).

Two things to notice here. First, there’s that all-important UCI sticker that shows Ridley have filled in the forms correctly. Second, you can just make out the F-Surface treatment that Ridley put in key areas to help with aerodynamics. It’s a textured paint that’s designed to re-establish the laminar flow of the air.

That’s another alloy stem on a Lotto bike, again slammed right down. The Pista is 3D forged and those are titanium bolts. We’re not fully down with the insulation tape on the head tube though.

Most of the Look-sponsored riders go with the Kéo Blade pedals but Marcel Sieberg - more about him below - chooses the Kéo 2 Max which is a little heavier.

Here’s more evidence that lots of the pros prefer alloy over carbon when it comes to cockpit components. Deda’s Zero 100 bar is 7075 T6 triple butted alloy. That’s Lizard Skin’s ultra-grippy DSP bar tape on there.

Campag’s EPS shifters are fantastic quality. The fact that you move the mech in one direction with your thumb and in the other direction with your index finger means they’re ultra easy to use. We find the thumb lever much easier to operate than their mechanical version too. It costs a fortune, mind. This is the Record version, not the even more high end Super Record.

More frame art now. This lighthouse logo is on the head tube of Marcel Sieberg’s bike. Sieberg is 198cm tall which, if you still work in imperial, is big, and he has red hair, so our Miss Marple instincts say it’s a nickname thing although we could be wrong.

That’s the Cipollini RB1000 ridden by the Farnese Vini team. They run with Ursus wheels – Ursus being an Italian brand that doesn’t have a UK importer as far as we know (correct us if you know otherwise). That logo says Miura C58. Go to Ursus’s website and you’ll see that the Miura C58 is clincher with an aluminium braking track – which, clearly, this wheel ain’t, so we don’t know what’s going on there.

This is Philippe Gilbert’s BMC SLR01 race bike complete with Belgian national champ's stripes. He won both the road race and the time trial last year after dominating the classics season. Those wheels are Easton EC90 Aero wheels. 

It looks like the rear mech and chain on Gilbert's spare bike have seen some action. He should get some degreaser and an old T-shirt on that. 

And we’re glad to see that even the mechanics of the pro teams get tub glue on the sidewalls. That makes us feel much better.

Ah, a little motivational message on the top tube of the Pinarello Dogma belonging to Team Sky’s Ian Stannard. To save you cricking your neck, it says:

"This is the line
The line between winning and losing
Between failure and success
Between good and great
Between dreaming and believing
Between convention and innovation
Between head and heart
It’s a fine line
It challenges everything we do
And we ride it every day"

As of this season, those words also appear towards the bottom of the blue stripe on the back of the Team Sky jersey, which is thicker than in the past two years - we can't say whether that means there's been some kind of reassessment of how wide the line between those pairs of words is, but it's a safe bet Cav's sick of reading it already.  

No prizes for guessing whose bike this is with the World Champion’s stripes on the stem. Although you can’t read it in this pic, that’s Mark Cavendish’s signature stem from Pro. Unlike those of the rest of Team Sky, Cav’s bike is all black apart from the occasional rainbow flash, courtesy of his status as World Champ.

Cav’s non-stickered wheel rims come from HED. It’s hard to tell. If you reckon you can identify them, let us know [Note: they do come from HED - see comments below]. There are 18 spokes up front, 24 at the rear, and no dimples in the rims although, take a look at this close-up...

Hmmm! We're not sure what's happening here. 

We say ‘non-stickered’, Cav does actually have stickers of his own name on there. It’s not that he’s possessive, it makes life easier for the mechanics who have dozens of wheels to look after.

In part one we mentioned Cav's interesting Di2 set up and his pedals… now we've got a better picture of both so let's recap. You’ll see that Cav is running Dura-Ace Di2 components but there’s something missing. Where’s the battery? They’ve hidden it away internally – inside the seat post, so rumour has it. Notice that Cav shuns Dura-Ace carbon composite pedals in favour of alloy ones from Shimano. And the Dogma has an external threaded bottom bracket rather than a BB30 or other internal design.

Stay tuned for the third and final instalment, coming shortly...


Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.