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Tour de France Bike at Bedtime: Elia Viviani’s 2014 Cannondale SuperSix Evo

The classic lightweight bike was still being raced with mechanical shifting six years ago
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Elia Viviani is an Olympic gold medallist who has won stages in all three Grand Tours, but back in 2014 he was riding his first Tour de France for Cannondale on the supremely popular SuperSix Evo.

 Elia Viviani Cannondale SuperSix Evo-031

Cannondale first introduced the SuperSix in 2006, then brought in the SuperSix Evo in 2011. It has been updated twice since then, but throughout it has been one of the best bikes in its class: lightweight and stiff with excellent handling. It combines its great performance and dialled geometry with more comfort than you'd expect from a race bike.

Check out our First Ride report on the latest Cannondale SuperSix Evo 

 Elia Viviani Cannondale SuperSix Evo-018

It’s not an aero road bike, but today’s SuperSix Evo has aero features. The version that Viviani was riding in 2014 wasn’t intended to reduce drag – unless you count the fact that Cannondale chose to stick with 1 1/4in bearings at both the top and the bottom of the head tube in order to keep the frontal area low. Rather, Cannondale focused on keeping the frame weight below 700g, which helped with the bike’s snappy acceleration.

 Elia Viviani Cannondale SuperSix Evo-020

2014 isn’t exactly an age ago but Viviani’s bike seems to belong to another era thanks to its cable-operated SRAM derailleurs. Granted, most bikes available on the High Street still use cables but it’s something that you never see in the pro peloton anymore. SRAM’s Red eTap electronic groupset was spotted at the Tour of California in 2014 and officially unveiled in 2015, the last of the three big groups manufacturers to switch to electronic but the first – and so far the only one – to go wireless.

Viviani stands 1.77m tall and was riding a 52cm frame – small for his size. Pro riders are forever riding bikes that seem too small by normal standards in order to get a low front end and an aero body position. That said, although Viviani did without headset spacers, he used a stem with a rise, bringing the handlebar up a touch.

 Elia Viviani Cannondale SuperSix Evo-002

That stem was 130mm stem which, by pros’ standards, isn’t extreme. His bar preference was an FSA Plasma carbon fibre integrated bar/stem. Integrated systems have become ever more popular since then.

Viviani’s bike was decked out with a 53/39 chainset with 172.5mm arms and a 11-28 cassette.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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