Ashleigh Moolman Pasio recently took to social media to show off her brand-new, custom-painted Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7.
It's far from uncommon for sponsors to award their victorious or title-holding riders with a custom paint job to celebrate their status. Tadej Pogačar rode a yellow-accented Colnago during much of the Tour de France, Giacomo Nizzolo was given two new bikes this season as the Italian and European champion, and Specialized is no stranger to awarding its riders with unique hues, giving both Julian Alaphilippe and Anna Van der Breggen rainbow bikes earlier this year.
In December 2020, Moolman Pasio became the first-ever eSports World Champion after the UCI and Zwift organised a championship race on the virtual cycling platform, but despite this, she never had her victory marked in the same way. However, as the road season starts to draw to a close and the indoor cycling scene gains popularity again, the South African has finally had her result commemorated with the now-customary custom creation.
Moolman Pasio's frame is a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, which has been painted with the World Champion's rainbow stripes over an eSports-appropriate pixelated theme. The bike features Red eTap AXS drivetrain components from SRAM, Zipp 303s wheels wrapped in S-Works Turbo RapidAir tubeless tyres and a cockpit also from Zipp.
It's unclear whether the South African will be permitted to ride the bike on the road, or whether this machine is restricted to indoor competition use. If the latter is the case, the fitment of tubeless tyres - and indeed the rear wheel at all - will be an unnecessary inclusion.
The Tarmac is Specialized's lightweight climbing bike that can be found being used by many of the top pro cycling teams sponsored by the brand. The latest generation Tarmac uses FACT 12r Carbon and takes design cues from aero trends in cycling. Despite featuring an aerodynamic design, Specialized claims the frame weighs just 800g.
Some may question the integrity of a virtual World Championships, but Moolman Pasio's achievements showcase the fitness and athletic talent needed to excel in the new discipline. This year, the South African placed second in the Giro d'Italia Donne and won a stage along the way. She also just placed 11th at the World Championship road race in Belgium.
The shiny bike is no doubt suited to a World Champion. However, Moolman Pasio will trade the road bike for a mountain bike this week, as the multidisciplinarian is set to start the UCI Marathon Mountain Bike World Championships in Italy.
|Frame||Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7|
|Groupset||SRAM Red eTap AXS|
|Wheelset||Zipp 303 S|
|Power Meter||SRAM Red AXS via Quarq|
|Pedals||Time XPro 15|
|Tyres||Specialized Turbo RapidAir|
|Bottle Cages||Tacx Deva|
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Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California and quickly learned how fun road cycling can be. He has dabbled in road, criterium and cyclocross racing as well. He lives in Durango, Colorado, where there are endless mountain views and hilly gravel routes.
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