This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Cadel Evans (BMC) has held the Giro d'Italia's coveted pink jersey twice before but unlike in 2002 and 2010, the plucky Australian is looking to keep that jersey on his back all the way to the finish in Trieste. Here's a look at the BMC TeamMachine SLR01 that Evans hopes will carry him there.
BMC recently redesigned its flagship SLR01 model, bringing down the chassis weight while at the same time supposedly also increasing its stiffness and making it more comfortable. Those traits lie at the top of the list for a GC contender like Evans, who spends little of his time punching through the wind on his own and isn't interested in a more aerodynamic - but heavier - machine like BMC's own TMR01.
We weighed a 54cm SLR01 frame at 790g back in May - a decrease of about 100g from the previous versions. As is commonplace in the pro ranks, however, Evans uses a smaller size than would typically be expected for someone that stands 1.74m (5ft 8in) tall and his 51cm chassis should be lighter still. As shown with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 electronic group, 35mm-deep Shimano carbon tubular wheels, Continental tires, 3T cockpit components, a fi'zi:k saddle, and an SRM power meter and computer, Evans' bike weighs just 7.00kg (15.43lb).
Swapping in Shimano's shallower C24 wheelset would bring things right down to the UCI-mandated 6.8kg minimum for the big mountain stages. With either setup, Evans carries on with traditional 22mm-wide rubber, although that's partially to do with the fact that neither of his preferred wheelsets are currently made with correspondingly wide cross-sections to match.
Aside from the low weight, Evans' SLR01 is also notable for its characteristically aggressive position with more than 110mm of handlebar drop and a powerful 80mm of saddle setback. The handlebar setup is a bit unusual as well with 2cm lopped off the ends and padding added beneath the tape both on the drops and up top.
According to BMC team mechanic Jurgen Landrie, Evans "just likes it that way."
With such an impressive palmarès, though, who is anyone to argue, right?