Zoe Bäckstedt destroyed the field to take her second junior women’s road race world title last Friday, and here’s the Cannondale SuperSix Evo she piloted to victory.
Bäckstedt rode alongside her rivals for only about quarter of an hour on her 18th birthday before breaking away and tackling the rest of the race alone. She scored a spectacular solo win by over two minutes.
As a member of the EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team – although representing Great Britain at the World Champs – Bäckstedt rides bikes from Cannondale. This is the Cannondale SuperSix EVO, the latest road race version having been introduced to the range in 2019.
The SuperSix Evo has always been the lightweight road bike in Cannondale’s range, sitting alongside the SystemSix aero bike in more recent years. That said, the latest version of the SuperSix Evo boasts a number of features designed to reduce drag too, Cannondale having hired Damon Rinard from Cervelo and aero specialist Nathan Barry direct from completing a PhD in applied aerodynamics.
Cannondale set itself the goal of creating a bike that maintained the low weight, handling and ride quality or previous Supersixes while improving comfort and aero performance, introducing size-specific tubing and making it easy to service.
Most notably, Cannondale introduced truncated aerofoil tube profiles to reduce drag, dropped the seatstays to improve comfort and aero efficiency, and made the majority of routing for hoses and cables (if any are used) internal. Bäckstedt’s brake hoses are more visible than normal underneath the stem because she isn’t using Cannondale’s Hollowgram aero handlebar and stem system.
Cannondale reckons that the changes add up to the equivalent of a 30 watt saving at 30mph (48.3km/h) compared with the previous SuperSix Evo. That's a huge difference, especially when you consider that the geometry was also altered to provide a taller head tube.
When we reviewed the 2021 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Carbon Disc 105, we were also impressed by the high level of comfort for a bike with such a sharp focus on performance. Cannondale says that this is largely down to the SAVE (Synapse Active Vibration Elimination) stays, internal seat clamp and HollowGram 27 KNOT carbon seatpost. The fact that the top tube slopes slightly, leaving more seatpost unsupported than previously, could also help.
As mentioned, Bäckstedt’s bike isn’t fitted with Cannondale’s aero handlebar and stem system which would normally integrate neatly with the head tube. The design would also see the brake hoses tucked away – not invisible, but certainly well hidden. Instead, this bike is fitted with a handlebar and stem from EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team sponsor FSA.
FSA also supplies the chainrings which are used with Cannondale's Hollowgram cranks. It looks like Backstedt went for a 53/39-tooth setup in Wollongong, Australia.
The rest of the groups components are Shimano’s top-level Dura-Ace Di2.
The wheelset is the Vision Metron 45 SL, designed as an all-rounder than for out-and-out aerodynamic performance, set up tubeless with Vittoria Corsa tyres
If you can make out the bottle cages, they’re the strong and light Arundel Mandibles. Arundel claims a weight of 28g per cage and that’s inline with what we found when we reviewed them.
Wahoo provides the bike computer and also the Speedplay pedals.
Bäckstedt’s shoes are Bont Vaypor S, each featuring two top-level Boa Li2 dials.
What’s unusual, though, is that they’re personalised with the name Erath, Tanja Erath being Bäckstedt’s EF Education-TIBCO-SVB teammate who has just announced her retirement, so it looks like these shoes were passed on at some stage.
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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.