Team Sky to switch from Pinarello to Specialized, reports L'Equipe

Move to brand that took Mark Cavendish to world championship success will net team a reported €6 million a year

by Simon_MacMichael   June 8, 2012  

Mark Cavendish 2011 Specialized McLaren Venge

French sports newspaper L’Equipe has today reported that Specialized is set to replace Pinarello as Team Sky’s bike supplier from next season, with the partnership worth a purported €6 million a year to the British ProTeam.

As supplier to HTC Highroad, Specialized of course supplied the bike that Mark Cavendish rode to world championship success in Copenhagen last September, with all but one of the seven riders supporting him drawn from the ranks of Team Sky and therefore riding Pinarello bikes.

Cavendish’s relationship with Specialized was seen as one of the reasons for the delay in the Manxman being confirmed as having signed for Team Sky long after many had assumed it was a fait accompli, with rumours that he might make a surprise move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step, which had lined up Specialized to replace Eddy Merckx as its bike supplier for 2012.

The blog A Twisted Spoke even managed to hoodwink a good few people into believing that a Pinarello/Specialized hybrid was in the works to get around the issue and keep both brands happy.

Although Cavendish had only being riding Specialized since the start of the 2011 season when it replaced Scott as HTC-Highroad’s bike sponsor, the brand used him heavily in its advertising within the cycling press and at point of sale.

Currently, Specialized supplies three UCI WorldTour teams – the others, besides Omega Pharma-Quick Step, are Saxo Bank and Astana – with L’Equipe saying that the US based firm will be ending its relationship with the latter at the end of this season.

There could well be implications beyond the supply of frames, with Specialized potentially in line to replace Kask as Team Sky’s helmet supplier, for example.

Since Cavendish signed for Team Sky, the outfit has already switched from Prologo saddle to Fizik, as used by the rider at HTC-Highroad, and Deda Elementi has been replaced by Pro for components including stems and bars.

The latter is a sub-brand of Shimano which of course already supplied Team Sky’s groupsets and wheels among other components, but it’s significant that had previously developed the custom oversize stem that Cavendish had previously used at HTC and continues to employ at Sky.
 

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surely for the top pros it shouldnt matter that much what they ride as they all probably weigh the same

scottytaz's picture

posted by scottytaz [12 posts]
8th June 2012 - 14:03

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Yeah, but it's all about how much revenue the bike manufacturers make.

That's why 'The big S' where annoyed.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
8th June 2012 - 14:09

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I recall predicting this very change on a thread when Cav signed with Sky. -The oracle has spoken.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [188 posts]
8th June 2012 - 15:27

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Congratulations, someone get PedalPowerDC a medal.

Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
8th June 2012 - 15:42

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At least it's not bleedin Trek

I guess they'll do a Sora equipped Allez in Sky colours and call it a replica

No one will care, except the fat Mamils who have spent their bonuses on a Pina to go with their straining Assos

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [406 posts]
8th June 2012 - 19:00

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Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick Sick

Screen shot 2012-06-08 at 19.32.15.png Screen shot 2012-06-08 at 19.32.28.png

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
8th June 2012 - 19:33

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maybe missing the point but Wiggo on a Shiv. Also, when Saxo Bank become a Pro-Conti team next year can you seriously say that Specialized will be throwing gear at them???
So that'll be Astana & Saxo Bank off the roster...

posted by stealth [149 posts]
8th June 2012 - 20:15

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stealth wrote:
maybe missing the point but Wiggo on a Shiv. Also, when Saxo Bank become a Pro-Conti team next year can you seriously say that Specialized will be throwing gear at them???
So that'll be Astana & Saxo Bank off the roster...

I agree... the Graal just doesn't look that fast... as opposed to the Shiv which does

Wiggo will be delighted.

posted by ALIHISGREAT [109 posts]
8th June 2012 - 20:31

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Wiggins on the P5.

Mmmm

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
8th June 2012 - 20:49

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Not surprised. Cav obviously wanted this and the money isn't exactly a reason to turn it down.

posted by Alan Tullett [1293 posts]
8th June 2012 - 21:02

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oh god, more saturation of specialized. i used to like them but they are now like man utd fans, your never more than 5 metres away from an over priced specialized.

i agree with raleigh, get em on condors

posted by russyparkin [550 posts]
8th June 2012 - 22:44

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Condors, Dolans, Raleighs, Boardmans, Enigmas (first pro team to use Ti, that would be cool), Falcons, Pashleys, Pinnacles, Planet X's, Ribble, Qoros.

ANYTHING BRITISH PLEASE MR. BRAILSFORD!!

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
8th June 2012 - 22:49

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i'm a mamil (currently lycra formally leather...), I ride a plant-x and wear endura!,
doesn't strain that much - honest!. So I won't be offended when team sky change bikes. Stereo typing aside...
... Money talks, also - its a compliment and a reward for success this year. No doubt
we'll see a hoard of sky replicas in the specialized concept stores shortly, funny that.

To slo to live, to slo to die! ::-}

posted by OldnSlo [121 posts]
8th June 2012 - 23:00

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Big Spesh fanboy here, so I'm delighted. I'm sure it'll be an advantage for the team too; Spesh certainly have more than a bit of the Midas touch about them!

posted by mrhallorann [18 posts]
8th June 2012 - 23:01

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Specialized have done brilliantly with OPQS, with Tom Boonen dominating the early Classics using both the Tarmac and Venge and then using the new Roubaix to win Paris-Roubaix.

Now if they add in Bradley on a Shiv and Cav stomping everyone on a McLaren Venge then that's pretty much everything covered in Road Racing.

Next, Chris Hoy on a Langster...

posted by outOfPhase [12 posts]
8th June 2012 - 23:51

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Where in Britain are any of those frames made?

posted by alun [44 posts]
9th June 2012 - 0:21

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Behind the scenes some would say that Cav never stopped training on SWorks so it's hardly a surprise. I'd lIke to see a British manufacturer stepping up to that level - but it's either more than some UK manufacturers could achieve and/or more than others would find necessary for future success. Condor have a good thing going with Rapha and Sharp: with their Brit development squad why double the hassle for double the cash if you don't need the cash? Dolan supply Sean Kelly's AnPost but don't need the extra exposure of Grand Tour status either.

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [933 posts]
9th June 2012 - 1:09

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whilst we at suggesting British bikes for SKY how about Moultons they would look and do great in the team time trail. For the marginal gain geeks there less aerodynamic drag from the smaller wheels and better cornering on descents what's not to like about them. AH! bugger just remembered the UCI banned them.

Oh well back to riding Specialized and 6 million euros in the bank!

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [154 posts]
9th June 2012 - 1:51

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Neither Condor nor Dolan have the muscle to supply at that level. Look at Merckx, they simply dropped out as it was too big a strain and thats on a Company owned by Pinarello. The big S simply has the wonga and luckily make pretty good bikes as results seem to prove so far.

Sean

posted by seanieh66 [192 posts]
9th June 2012 - 4:58

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Love the idea of a Pinarello/Specialized hybrid. Pinalized? Speciarello?

Can't believe it'll make much difference though.

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [252 posts]
9th June 2012 - 10:30

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Vespa have been secretly working on a one-off for Wiggo but the UCI didn't like all the mirrors.

Noli porcum linguere

captain_slog's picture

posted by captain_slog [252 posts]
9th June 2012 - 10:49

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lushmiester wrote:

Oh well back to riding Specialized and 6 million euros in the bank!

Sky's not really fussed about signing big names (other than Wiggins and the Manx Express), they're more about getting quality riders in and realising their potential.

I'm thinking Froome, Thomas, EBH, Rigoberto and Sergio, Ian Stannard.

Pretty much every rider.

So it remains, what will the €6000000 be spent on?

Probably buying Cervelos.

(lol)

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
9th June 2012 - 10:55

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and seriously some of you think cav has influenced or demanded specialized? really i dont think so. unless he had a particular personal sponsorship package with them. probably find most pros will have a bike made to suit them so the pina he is running is likely to be exactly the same geometry as his old spesh anyway.

cav is good but he is not the team owner. as people have rightly posted the most likely reason they will take spesh is the 6 million reasons not a desire to ride them.

money talks

personally think manufacturers should be restricted like formula one engine supply.

i dont want to see the entire peleton on one brand.

posted by russyparkin [550 posts]
9th June 2012 - 11:01

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Not sure that raleigh, planet x, ribble etc are british. They may have a british history but the bikes arent made or developed here.

Who is going to win Le Tour de Spesh next year?

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1076 posts]
9th June 2012 - 14:24

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Presumably you're talking about the recent deal between Specialized and the Tour of Britain organisers for them to provide neutral service for the next three years.

In which case, I highly tip Yanto Barker, the British rider.

Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
9th June 2012 - 15:07

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Personally I couldn't care less if they rode british bikes or not...
I just hope they don't have to wear those pig ugly (probably unfair on the pig) specialized helmets... I just can't stand them Sick

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [106 posts]
9th June 2012 - 21:29

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Yeah, I used to like them, but my new favourite is the Mavic Plasma SLR in Black.

Birthday soon.

Mmmm

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
9th June 2012 - 21:48

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Wiggins was once asked in an interview what his fav bike was ?

His reply - "whatever my team are using".

Whether Sky use Specialized or Pinarello i dont think it matters to the riders as long as the bikes are reliable which at their level all bike suppliers will be.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2431 posts]
10th June 2012 - 1:48

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russyparkin wrote:
and seriously some of you think cav has influenced or demanded specialized? really i dont think so. unless he had a particular personal sponsorship package with them.

I'd say there are a handful of cyclists - Armstrong was one, Contador and Cavendish among current (or should that be current*...?) riders who do have that clout.

That can work both ways - teams being told that in order to sign a certain rider, there should be an understanding to bring the brand on board, or that a team a brand already supplies should look to bring a particular rider on board.

Cavendish was said to have been closely involved in designing the Venge. Now, for anyone else, that might just be marketing gubbins, but Cavendish is very much about attention to detail and getting everything just right.

It's also interesting to note that in the Head & Shoulders ad currently being aired - an ad made since he joined Sky - he is wearing what is unmistakeably a Specialized helmet.

Also worth noting that Specialzed do tend to emphasise star riders who act as brand spokesmen more in their ads than a lot of other bicycle brands do.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7488 posts]
11th June 2012 - 12:42

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I know I am late to comment on this but I am very happy as a Spesh fan! I missed this story as I was on holiday so it was a pleasant read this morning when it was pointed out!

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
28th June 2012 - 8:47

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