Last year, Ian Boswell's career as a WorldTour pro came to an abrupt end after he suffered a severe concussion while racing Tirreno Adriatico. After a six-month recovery period, and his Katusha-Alpecin team closing up shop, Boswell was at a crossroads in his career.
After respectfully declining an offer from Rally Cycling, the American opted to leave the road altogether, and join the ranks of riders such as Peter Stetina and Ted King, and commit to a full schedule of gravel racing. This weekend’s Old Man Winter Rally will be Boswell's first appearance riding for his new Wahoo Frontiers team, and aboard a shiny new Specialized Diverge.
We are surprised not to see Boswell aboard the S-Works model. Instead, perhaps showcasing the quality of today's crop of bikes, his bike is an off-the-shelf Diverge Expert - a dedicated carbon-fibre gravel bike.
Boswell is riding a size 58cm frame, complete with the Future Shock at the front; with 20mm of travel, the whole assembly is situated above the head tube to facilitate vertical travel path. Specialized opted for this configuration, so the wheelbase and handling characteristics don't change as the bars move through the travel.
The Future Shock is matched at the back with the brand's S-Works CG-R seatpost (which incidentally, recently made it into our roundup of the best road seatposts). The tubing profile at the top of this seatpost is combined with Specialized's Zertz elastomers to provide 18mm of vertical compliance. Boswell's saddle height is marked with a loop of white electrical tape, and perched on top is a Specialized Power Expert saddle with hollow titanium rails.
The former WorldTour pro's Diverge Expert is specced with a SRAM Force 1 Groupset with an 11-speed 10-42T cassette at the back, and a 40T chainring bolted to the carbon Praxis Zayante carbon cranks — Boswell tells us he may swap in a Quarq powermeter down the line. Bolted into the cranks are a set of Crankbrothers Egg Beater 1 mountain bike pedals.
The rolling stock are Roval C38 Disc wheels — with an XD driver body — and 700 x 38mm Specialized PathFinder Pro gravel tyres with the Butyl wrapped 2Bliss Ready casing and Gription tread compound. The Pathfinder Pro tyres feature a slick centre tread for minimal straight-line rolling resistance, with the diamond-shaped transition blocks and skinny shoulder tread providing some purchase after the pavement ends. Boswell tells us he plans to run these tyres for the Old Man Winter Rally, but if the snow continues as it has on Colorado's front range he will swap in a set of Tracer Pros.
Connected to a 110mm Future Pro stem are 44cm wide Specialized Adventure Gear Hover bars that add a bit of extra stack to the cockpit, and the drops see a 12-degree flare for added control when the gravel road gets a bit spicy.
Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Ian Boswell's Specialized Diverge Expert.
Ian Boswell's Specialized Diverge Expert full bike specifications
Frameset: Specialized Diverge Expert, Size 58
Groupset: SRAM Force 1x
Crankset: Praxis Zayante carbon 1X
Bottom bracket: Praxis, PF30
Cassette: SRAM XG 1150, 11-speed, 10-42T
Brakes: SRAM Force hydraulic disc
Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 1
Wheelset: Roval C38 Disc
Tyre system: Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss Ready, Transparent Sidewall, 700 x 38mm
Handlebars: Specialized Adventure Gear Hover, 103mm drop x 70mm reach x 12º flare
Stem: Specialized Future Stem Pro, 110mm
Seatpost: S-Works CG-R
Saddle: Specialized Power Expert, Ti Rails
Bar tape: Roubaix S-Wrap
GPS Computer: Wahoo ELEMNT Roam
Bottle cages: Specialized Rib Cage II