Mark Cavendish's Tour de France stage-winning S-Works Tarmac SL7

Mark Cavendish's Specialized Tarmac
Mark Cavendish's Specialized Tarmac (Image credit: Specialized)

When Mark Cavendish sprinted to his 31st Tour de France stage win in Fourgères, the world's cycling fan collective erupted. The Manxman's five-year wait for a Tour de France stage was over, and his emotion was clear for all to see. 

He came into the Tour simply happy to be on the start line, "the stars aligned" he said, and despite his competitive nature leading him to state "I wouldn't be at the Tour de France if I wasn't going to try and sprint," he also quickly shot down any questions of Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins. 

His story is one that has been told a thousand times over, but after many had written him off after his Epstein Barr virus and subsequent run of poor results, his return to Deceuninck-QuickStep was the surprise move of the recent offseason. 

Speaking after his win, an emotional Cavendish did what all cyclists do, in thanking their teammates for their sacrifice, but with an undeniable air of sincerity. 

"So many people didn't believe in me, and these guys do," he said.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep team also recently reaffirmed its belief in its bike sponsor, Specialized, as in the days leading up to the Tour, the two parties signed a six-year deal that will see the team aboard Specialized bikes until 2027. 

The Manxman's bike is the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, fitted with Turbo Cotton clincher tyres - such is the commitment from the team at this Tour. 

Unlike Alaphilippe, who uses a lightweight round handlebar from Pro, Cavendish has stuck with the aerodynamic Rapide handlebar from Roval, as well as the aero Rapide wheels from the same brand. 

He also uses the 3D-printed saddle, the S-Works Power with Mirror technology, however, his ride was derailed - pun very much intended - when his saddle rails snapped with around 50km to go. 

He also uses a Di2 satellite shifter - popular among sprinters to enable shifting whilst retaining a tight grip on the drops. However, unlike most riders, he's only running one - on his right drop - allowing him to only shift up through the gears. In addition, rather than putting the shifter in an inward-facing position, which means it can be operated with the thumb, he's positioned it forward-facing, like the pull of a trigger.

After a time trial stage today, Cavendish's next chance to pull that trigger comes on Thursday's 160.6km stage from Tours to Châteauroux.

Mark Cavendish's S-Works Tarmac SL7: Specifications

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Mark Cavendish's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
FrameSpecialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
GroupsetShimano Dura-Ace R9170 Di2
BrakesShimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc
WheelsetRoval Rapide CLX
StemSpecialized Tarmac Stem
HandlebarsRoval Rapide
Power MeterShimano Dura-Ace R9100-P
PedalsShimano Dura-Ace R9100
SaddleS-Works Power with Mirror
TyresSpecialized Turbo Cotton
ComputerWahoo Elemnt Bolt
Bottle CagesTacx Deva

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Josh Croxton
Tech Editor

As the Tech Editor here at Cyclingnews, Josh leads on content relating to all-things tech, including bikes, kit and components in order to cover product launches and curate our world-class buying guides, reviews and deals. Alongside this, his love for WorldTour racing and eagle eyes mean he's often breaking tech stories from the pro peloton too. 

On the bike, 30-year-old Josh has been riding and racing since his early teens. He started out racing cross country when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s and has never looked back. He's always training for the next big event and is keen to get his hands on the newest tech to help. He enjoys a good long ride on road or gravel, but he's most alive when he's elbow-to-elbow in a local criterium.