Could this be the bike that helps Peter Sagan to not only defend the green jersey at the 2019 Tour de France but to win it for a record-breaking 7th time? The points jersey classification has become Sagan’s to lose, and few would bet against him.
He’s once again racing a Specialized S-Works Venge which is practically identical to last year’s bike. Even the paint scheme is the same, which is titled Chasing Rainbows and has been designed to “capture Peter’s two personalities, Overexposed and Underexposed,” representing the two sides of the world champion and of course, the green jersey, with a glittery and matte finish.
Underneath the glittery paint is the Venge, the US company’s dedicated aero race bike. It was brand new last year and there are no changes this year. Designed solely for disc brakes and electronic gears, so no mechanical groupsets or rim brakes here, it's company's third-generation aero road bike, and it's faster, lighter, stiffer, better handling, easier to adjust and better looking than the old Venge ViAS. You can read our review of the bike here.
We got the tape measure out and took down some key measurements. Peter Sagan is 1.84m (6ft) and rides a size 56cm frame.
He has a 76cm saddle height, measured from the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle.
A 14cm stem pairs with a 42cm wide handlebar, centre-to-centre. Crank arms are 172.5mm.
Apart from the stem, it’s practically my size. Naturally I asked the team mechanic if I could take it for a spin, and naturally, he said no!
There’s precious little change on the specification front, the Bora-Hansgrohe team continuing to use Shimano’s flagship Dura-Ace Di2 groupset.
There are a few subtle details. Satellite shifter buttons on the drops.
A huge 54/42t chainset and an 11-28t cassette deviating from the norm.
No Shimano Dura-Ace power meter though, instead it’s a Specialized dual-sided power meter, showing how significant the Specialized sponsorship deal is. He is however on Shimano SPD-SL clipless pedals.
Wheels are from Specialized’s sub-brand Roval, the deepest section CLX 64 with CeramicSpeed bearings. Tyres are 26mm wide S-Works Turbo Gripton compound tyres.
There are also CeramicSpeed bottom bracket bearings, for what it’s worth. When we investigated ceramic bearings we found there was very little performance advantage, but the pros are into their marginal gains even if it is of negligible benefit.
We’ve seen Sagan go off-brand with stems in the past, but he’s using the aero stem specifically designed for the Venge, so we presume Specialized has managed to satisfy the Slovakian’s desire for stem stiffness. The stem works with the handlebars to internally route the hydraulic brake hoses and Di2 wiring. It’s all very clean. It’s not even very slammed either.
Saddle of choice is a Specialized S-Works Romin Evo and it’s clamped about halfway along the rails.
The handlebar is an Aerofly carbon handlebar that was developed for the Venge, and provides full internal cable routing. A Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is fitted to an out-front mount attached to the stem face plate.
There are a few little details that separate this Venge from the one you can buy in a Specialized shop. One small thing I did notice is the cable tie holding the Di2 wire in place on the rear mech hanger - that’ll help prevent an accidental dislodging of the wire from the mech. We’ve seen that wire being pulled out of the mech in some races, rendering the rider all out of gears.
The other small detail is the custom 3D printed race number on the bottom of the seatpost. Race numbers are usually small metal looms attached to the rear brake stay, but there isn’t one on the Venge due to its disc brake design.
Wondering where the Di2 junction box is? It’s hidden inside the seatpost right underneath the clamp. Why here? Because it’s easier for a team mechanics to access while leaning out of a car at 60kph!
The unique thing about cycling, unlike say motor racing, is that you can buy a replica of this bike very very much an identical specification. You will need deep pockets though, the S-Works Venge Di2 - Sagan Collection LTD bike costs £10,250.
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.