Campagnolo became the first to launch 12 speed road groupsets last year, unveiling Super Record and Record cassettes with a dozen sprockets. Both of these groupsets were mechanical with no date set for EPS (electronic) versions set initially... but we reckon road world champion Alejandro Valverde may have just shown it off for the first time on his new Canyon Ultimate CF SLX.
The frame and finishing kit have a strong rainbow striped theme throughout, and also there some cool multicoloured decals on the Bora Ultra carbon wheels. Although we can't see closely enough in Movistar's gallery to count the number of sprockets we can confirm that the crankset and levers are the new Super Record 12 speed versions, which means unless someone has been doing some serious bodge jobs at the rear this bike has to be 12 speed. The difference is in the front mech...
Above is a side-by-side comparison of the front mech on Valverde's new steed and the mechanical Super Record front derailleur currently available to buy... and we're pretty sure the one on the left looks like an electrified version. The extra part added to the front derailleur clamp looks pretty much the same as the shift motor that appears on the Super Record EPS 11 speed front mech.
Valverde will ride this bike in 2019 as the reigning world champion, complete with a 12 speed electronic groupset if our speculating is correct. Campagnolo still haven't set a date for the official release of Super Record and Record EPS 12, but with almost a year passing since the launch of the mechanical versions, we wouldn't bet against it hitting shop floors in early 2019.
What do you think of Valverde's new-look Canyon Ultimate, and will you be saving up for 12 speed EPS when it lands? Let us know in the comments.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.