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Tour Tech 2011: Chavanel's Bastille Day bike

French road race champion gets a paintjob to match his jersey

It's Bastille Day, and that means plenty of jingoistic flag waving and obligatory French riders in the break trying to bring the stage home pour l'hexagone – Kadri, Mangel and Roy wear the burden of France's expectation for the moment. And French road race champ Sylvain Chavanel will be wearing the tricolore with pride today, across his chest and also on his specially painted Merckx EMX-5.

Yup, Chavanel's among the riders with a custom paintjob today (more on Voeckler's special bike soon), a patriotic red, white and blue affair with his nickname, 'La Machine', emblazoned on the seat tube. White finishing kit, bar tape and lever hoods complete the look; let's hope it isn't a muddy one today, eh. And at least one member of the office is hoping that he takes that special bike and points it uphill, at speed, to both honour the French nation and land some big Fantasy Cycling points...

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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