Lizzie Armitstead won today’s Tour of Flanders cobbled classic aboard a Specialized Amira SL4 kitted out with SRAM’s new eTap wireless groupset and Zipp 303 wheels shod with Specialized Turbo Cotton 25mm tubular tyres.
It’s largely the same bike and specification that she has been racing all year. The paint job was produced to celebrate her becoming world champion last autumn and if nothing else, makes it easy to spot her bike when lined up with the other bikes from her team.
The only change for Flanders, the Boels-Dolmans team mechanic told us, is lower air pressure in the regular 25mm tubular tyres. He wouldn’t reveal the exact pressure, that’s the short of detail mechanics often like to keep to themselves.
SRAM can today celebrate a huge victory for its new eTap wireless groupset. Watch out for a new marketing campaign soon… Armitstead uses a pair of Blips (remote shifters) fitted to the inside of the drops, with the bar tape cut away. I found the Blips can be quite tricky to activate when concealed under the bar tape, so this looks like a solution to that problem. This position is ideal for sprinting and just gives another option.
Elsewhere the only departure from the Red groupset is the Specialized S-Works carbon crankset paired with a Quarq power meter and SRAM 53/39t chainrings. There’s an 11-28t cassette fixed to the rear hub of the Zipp 303 wheelset.
An SL Sprint stem provides the front end stiffness Armitstead will want when she’s sprinting, and it’s slammed on top of the headset top cap. She likes a stretched position (or she’s deliberately riding a size smaller frame) as the saddle is pushed right back on the layback seatpost.
The seatpost is painted plain white, to match the frame, obviously. But there are no brand logos, and it does look a bit like an FSA K-Force seatpost.
The handlebar is an aluminium Zipp SL88 model and she uses a SRAM out-front mount for her Garmin computer.
Unlike the popularity for double wrap bar tape for this race, Armitstead opts for just a single layer of bar tape.
More tech from Flanders soon...
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.