In 2019, when Julian Alaphilippe stormed into the Tour de France yellow jersey for his first time, he did so on stage 3. He duly followed that up in 2020, going a day earlier and earning yellow on stage 2. This year, he's gone yet another day earlier, winning the stage 1 opener into Landerneau with a stinging long-range acceleration.
Ahead of the stage, the road world champion said that it would take a "violent effort" to take the win. And violent it certainly was; when his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Dries Devenyns swung off the front at 2.3km to go, Alaphilippe launched his attack. The subsequent four-minute effort saw him gain eight seconds over his rivals.
Alaphilippe and his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates are racing aboard the S-Works Tarmac SL7, but a perk of his position as reigning world champion, the Frenchman's bike is resplendent in a rainbow-themed custom paint job.
His win in 2020 marked the first victory in modern cycling history for clincher tyres. Despite the risk of being unrideable when flat, riders from both Specialized-sponsored teams were using the technology, which Roval claims "delivers the lowest riding resistance and supple road feel." Fast forward to today and the entire Deceuninck-QuickStep team have committed to the tyres for the full three-week race.
The tyres have been paired with Roval's Rapide CLX wheels, which are the deeper, more aerodynamic of the two options available to the team. In contrast, Alaphilippe has foregone both of the aero handlebars available - the S-Works Aerofly II and the Roval Rapide - in favour of a lighter weight round bar from PRO.
With his victory, Alaphilippe earned both the yellow and green jerseys, and his team mechanics swung into action, giving the race leader's bike a few colour-matching yellow touches.
Julian Alaphilippe's custom-painted Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7: Specifications
|Frame||Specialized Tarmac SL7|
|Groupset||Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Di2|
|Brakes||Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc|
|Wheelset||Roval Rapide CLX|
|Stem||Specialized Tarmac Stem|
|Handlebars||Pro Vibe Superlight|
|Power Meter||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P|
|Pedals||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100|
|Saddle||Specialized S-Works Romin Evo|
|Tyres||Specialized Turbo Cotton|
|Computer||Wahoo Elemnt Bolt|
|Bottle Cages||Tacx Deva|
Josh is our Senior Tech Writer meaning he covers everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. He'll spot something new in the pro peloton from a mile off, and is always keen get his hands on the newest tech.
On the bike, Josh has been racing since the age of 13. After racing XC with friends in his teens, he turned to road racing in his early 20s. Pre pandemic, he was racing as a Cat 1 for Team Tor 2000, but for the time being, he's taking shelter in his garage racing on Zwift and RGT. In the real world, he enjoys a good long road race but he's much more at home in a local criterium.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.