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Pro bike: Gustav Larsson's Saxo Bank-Sungard Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3

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Sorry, this isn't the bike of Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Nick Nuyens but it's virtually identical to this one, ridden by Saxo Bank-Sungard teammate (and former Giro d'Italia stage winner) Gustav Larsson.

Sorry, this isn't the bike of Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Nick Nuyens but it's virtually identical to this one, ridden by Saxo Bank-Sungard teammate (and former Giro d'Italia stage winner) Gustav Larsson.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses a semi-anatomic bend handlebar from FSA.

Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses a semi-anatomic bend handlebar from FSA.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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SRAM Red DoubleTap levers are mounted relatively high on the FSA bars.

SRAM Red DoubleTap levers are mounted relatively high on the FSA bars.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses titanium-axled Speedplay Zero pedals on his Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3.

Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses titanium-axled Speedplay Zero pedals on his Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The full SRAM rear end on Gustav Larsson's (Saxo Bank-Sungard) Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 includes a Red rear derailleur, a PC-1091 chain, and a PG-1070 cassette.

The full SRAM rear end on Gustav Larsson's (Saxo Bank-Sungard) Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 includes a Red rear derailleur, a PC-1091 chain, and a PG-1070 cassette.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Zipp's latest hub design uses straight-pull spokes and large-diameter flanges, plus adjustable bearing preload.

Zipp's latest hub design uses straight-pull spokes and large-diameter flanges, plus adjustable bearing preload.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Zipp 303 rims are wrapped with Specialized S-Works tubular tires made by Veloflex.

Zipp 303 rims are wrapped with Specialized S-Works tubular tires made by Veloflex.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Solid titanium rails keep weight low but are still sturdy enough for Ronde van Vlaanderen cobbles.

Solid titanium rails keep weight low but are still sturdy enough for Ronde van Vlaanderen cobbles.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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In contrast to most pros, Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses a non-offset seatpost.

In contrast to most pros, Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses a non-offset seatpost.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Specialized uses big chain stays and slim seat stays on its S-Works Tarmac SL3.

Specialized uses big chain stays and slim seat stays on its S-Works Tarmac SL3.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saxo Bank-Sungard team mechanics aren't shy with the electrical tape when it comes to securing the cable housings to the handlebar.

Saxo Bank-Sungard team mechanics aren't shy with the electrical tape when it comes to securing the cable housings to the handlebar.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The stout bottom bracket area houses a 30mm-diameter aluminum spindle.

The stout bottom bracket area houses a 30mm-diameter aluminum spindle.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saxo Bank-Sungard's SRAM Red brake calipers are fitted with new grey-compound SwissStop carbon-specific pads. "Our teams are raving about them in both wet and dry, something we've never before been able to accomplish," said Zipp's Josh Poertner.

Saxo Bank-Sungard's SRAM Red brake calipers are fitted with new grey-compound SwissStop carbon-specific pads. "Our teams are raving about them in both wet and dry, something we've never before been able to accomplish," said Zipp's Josh Poertner.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sealed Gore Ride-On cables help ensure proper shifting performance even in adverse weather conditions (and after multiple bike washings).

Sealed Gore Ride-On cables help ensure proper shifting performance even in adverse weather conditions (and after multiple bike washings).
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tacx Tao aluminum cages are used on the Saxo Bank-Sungard bikes.

Tacx Tao aluminum cages are used on the Saxo Bank-Sungard bikes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The PG-1070 cassette is heavier than the trick Red unit but like most SRAM-sponsored teams, Saxo Bank-Sungard prefers there for their quieter running and better resistance to clogging with debris.

The PG-1070 cassette is heavier than the trick Red unit but like most SRAM-sponsored teams, Saxo Bank-Sungard prefers there for their quieter running and better resistance to clogging with debris.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses an SRM power measuring spider mounted on his Specialized FACT carbon crankarms.

Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) uses an SRM power measuring spider mounted on his Specialized FACT carbon crankarms.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Specialized uses aluminum dropouts instead of carbon ones on its top-end S-Works Tarmac SL3 flagship but they're cleverly designed with a hollow interior and fully boxed sides.

Specialized uses aluminum dropouts instead of carbon ones on its top-end S-Works Tarmac SL3 flagship but they're cleverly designed with a hollow interior and fully boxed sides.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The carbon fork features a tapered steerer and alloy fork tips.

The carbon fork features a tapered steerer and alloy fork tips.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Aluminum stems and bars are commonplace among the pros for Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Aluminum stems and bars are commonplace among the pros for Ronde van Vlaanderen.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Saxo Bank-Sungard rider Nick Nuyens became a hometown hero on Sunday, deftly winning the Tour of Flanders over popular favourites Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Sylvain Chavanel (QuickStep) using his standard Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 road race machine.

Sorry, the bike profiled here isn't quite Nuyens' race-winning machine - this one belongs to teammate (and Giro d'Italia stage winner) Gustav Larsson. But in all fairness, Larsson's bike is little changed from that of the new Belgian hero.

The carbon frames and forks used in this past Sunday's Ronde are the same as what Saxo Bank-Sungard riders usually race on during the season with no modifications made to tackle the Flandrian cobbles - at least nothing visible that is - with the usual features all present and accounted for: the oversized tubing, the tapered front end, the BB30 bottom bracket shell with integrated bearings, the cleverly hollow aluminum dropouts, and the standard pairing of giant chain stays and slim seat stays.

Most of the equipment is carried over from the regular season, too, including the SRAM Red group, Zipp 303 carbon tubular wheels, and Specialized's own FACT carbon cranks (with an SRM power measuring spider), S-Works Pro-Set forged aluminum stem, and anatomic Romin saddle (with solid titanium rails - something not normally offered aftermarket to consumers).

Finishing things off are FSA's aluminum Energy New Ergo handlebar and zero-setback K-Force SB0 carbon seatpost, SwissStop Yellow King pads, Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals, Tacx Tao aluminum cages, a Cane Creek integrated headset, SRM's Powercontrol 7 computer, and Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing.

Total weight as pictured is 7.29kg (16.07lb) - impressive for something that is intended to take such a beating and even more impressive for a rider of Larsson's size, who stands at 1.94m (6' 4") tall.

All in all, Saxo Bank-Sungard's Tour of Flanders-winning bike is essentially standard issue - and that's the point. While Paris-Roubaix's more brutal pavé will likely bring out a greater number of special machines, bike technology - and rider attitudes - looks to have advanced enough that everyday race rigs now get the job done just fine.

This article first appeared here on BikeRadar.

Complete bike specifications:

Frame: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3 FACT 11r, 56cm
Fork: Specialized FACT carbon
Headset: Cane Creek integrated, tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2"
Stem: Specialized S-Works Pro-Set, 130mm x -8°
Handlebars: FSA Energy New Ergo, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix
Front brake: SRAM Red w/ Zipp grey-compound carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Rear brake: SRAM Red w/ Zipp grey-compound carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Red w/ steel cage
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-25T
Chain: SRAM PC-1091
Crankset: Specialized S-Works w/ SRM power meter, 175mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Specialized integrated
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Titanium
Wheelset: Zipp 303 tubular
Front tire: Specialized S-Works tubular by Veloflex
Rear tire: Specialized S-Works tubular by Veloflex
Saddle: Specialized Romin w/ solid titanium rails
Seat post: FSA K-Force SB0
Bottle cages: Tacx Tao (2)
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing

Critical measurements:

Rider's height: 1.94m (6' 4")
Rider's weight: 77kg (170lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 838mm
Saddle setback: 80mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 580mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 530mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 600mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 130mm
Head tube length: 170mm
Top tube length: 565mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight: 7.29kg (16.07lb)