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

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outfit has already switched from Prologo saddle to Fizik, as used by the rider at HTC-Highroad, and Deda Elementi has been replaced by Pro for components including stems and bars.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

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

36 comments

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Why can't they ride British bikes, I thought Raleigh was set to line up with them.

Or Condor (with Rapha clothing  5 ), that would be sweet. But Sky are a bit mainstream for that.

Planet X?
Ribble (lol)?

Or Boardman.

That would be sweet.

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jameshaworth21 [11 posts] 3 years ago
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I think there are roughly (EURO)6 million reasons for that @Aldëcycle...  4

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Talking of Saxo Bank, Alberto's staying until 2015.

Discuss

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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Raleigh wrote:

Talking of Saxo Bank, Alberto's staying until 2015.

Discuss

That's nice for him, I'm sure he'll enjoy beating everyone on the European tour.

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 3 years ago
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Will be nice to have Sky riding non-fugly bikes!

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

Will be nice to have Sky riding non-fugly bikes!

Where are the big S going to get any of them then?!  4

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scottytaz [12 posts] 3 years ago
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surely for the top pros it shouldnt matter that much what they ride as they all probably weigh the same

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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pedalpowerDC [323 posts] 3 years ago
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I recall predicting this very change on a thread when Cav signed with Sky. -The oracle has spoken.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Congratulations, someone get PedalPowerDC a medal.

 19

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andylul [410 posts] 3 years ago
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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

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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stealth [254 posts] 3 years ago
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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...

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ALIHISGREAT [119 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Wiggins on the P5.

Mmmm

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Alan Tullett [1566 posts] 3 years ago
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Not surprised. Cav obviously wanted this and the money isn't exactly a reason to turn it down.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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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

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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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!!

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OldnSlo [133 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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mrhallorann [16 posts] 3 years ago
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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!

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outOfPhase [13 posts] 3 years ago
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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...

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alun [45 posts] 3 years ago
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Where in Britain are any of those frames made?

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WolfieSmith [1244 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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lushmiester [170 posts] 3 years ago
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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!

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seanieh66 [196 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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captain_slog [324 posts] 3 years ago
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Love the idea of a Pinarello/Specialized hybrid. Pinalized? Speciarello?

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

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captain_slog [324 posts] 3 years ago
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Vespa have been secretly working on a one-off for Wiggo but the UCI didn't like all the mirrors.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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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)

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Jon Burrage [998 posts] 3 years ago
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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?

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