The Specialized S-Works Tarmac is the bike of choice for the swashbuckling Julian Alaphilippe, who at the time of writing is enjoying life in the yellow jersey after an audacious attack on the hilly finale of stage 3 of this year’s Tour de France.
Let’s take a closer look at his bike. The Deceuninck–Quick-Step Cycling Team is sponsored by Specialized and has two main road bikes to choose from: the Venge aero bike and the more all-round Tarmac, which is the lighter option. There’s also the Roubaix, but that is really reserved for the cobbles.
Quick-Step has had some damn good looking bikes in the past, but this year the finish is very understated. It’s mostly black with just a bit of blue fading in from the axles. Could try harder Quick-Step! Alaphilippe's bike has now gained a splash of yellow to match the jersey, which you can see at the bottom of this article.
The bike is specced with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, which means electronic shifting gears and hydraulic disc brakes. The entire team made the switch to disc brakes this season and it appears, from the outside at least, to have been successful.
Wheels are the all-round faves, the Roval CLX 50s which, as the name suggests, feature 50mm deep rims. They’re fitted with S-Works Turbo 26mm tubular tyres. Inside the aluminium hub shells are CeramicSpeed bearings, which are also used in the bottom bracket.
Whereas the Bora-Hansgrohe Specialized bikes are equipped with Specialized power meters, Quick-Step goes with the new Shimano power meters.
We’re so used to seeing long and slammed stems that the front end of Alaphilippe's bike leaves us scratching our heads a little. A 100mm stem with a generous amount of space between it and the headset top cap is most unusual. In fact, it’s refreshing seeing a rider being influenced by fit data rather than tradition and looks.
The PRO stem and handlebar are used because of the sponsorship deal that Quick-Step has with Shimano, the owner of PRO. We do like the neat attachment of the Di2 junction box to the bottom of the stem; top marks for getting away from ugly rubber bands!
An aluminium PRO handlebar appears to be double wrapped with Supacaz bar tape. The final cockpit detail is the K-Edge aluminium out-front computer mount.
These photos were shot before the race. Since Alaphilippe rode himself into the yellow jersey, the team mechanics have been busy ramping up the yellow.
The bike now has yellow bar tape, a yellow computer mount and yellow bottle cages.
Alaphilippe is also wearing a matching yellow helmet, so he'll be easy to pick out in the peloton.
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.