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Pro Bike: Mark Cavendish's HTC-Columbia Scott Addict

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There's reasonable space under the crown for the bigger-than-typical 25mm-wide Continental tubulars.

There's reasonable space under the crown for the bigger-than-typical 25mm-wide Continental tubulars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano's latest carbon-specific brake blocks are still in prototype form but are found here.

Shimano's latest carbon-specific brake blocks are still in prototype form but are found here.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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While some of his teammates are testing Shimano's latest carbon-bodied Dura-Ace pedal design, Cavendish sticks with the tried-and-true aluminum version.

While some of his teammates are testing Shimano's latest carbon-bodied Dura-Ace pedal design, Cavendish sticks with the tried-and-true aluminum version.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish's bike is prepped for Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen.

Cavendish's bike is prepped for Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish's Dura-Ace rear derailleur is bolted to a team-only non-replaceable hanger.

Cavendish's Dura-Ace rear derailleur is bolted to a team-only non-replaceable hanger.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Most of the HTC-Columbia guys have chosen traditional telescoping seatposts for a little extra comfort on the cobbled classics.

Most of the HTC-Columbia guys have chosen traditional telescoping seatposts for a little extra comfort on the cobbled classics.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRM's new 7900-compatible crankarms feature a profiled spider to better match with the hollow chainrings.

SRM's new 7900-compatible crankarms feature a profiled spider to better match with the hollow chainrings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish's SRM power meter is an interesting hybrid of Dura-Ace 7800 arms with a new spider designed to fit with 7900 chainrings.

Cavendish's SRM power meter is an interesting hybrid of Dura-Ace 7800 arms with a new spider designed to fit with 7900 chainrings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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As usual, the stays are emblazoned with the logos of major team sponsors.

As usual, the stays are emblazoned with the logos of major team sponsors.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish continues to prefer PRO's massive Vibe Track carbon stem for its extra stiffness.

Cavendish continues to prefer PRO's massive Vibe Track carbon stem for its extra stiffness.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Thick gel padding under the bar tape will protect Cavendish's hands on the rough cobbles.

Thick gel padding under the bar tape will protect Cavendish's hands on the rough cobbles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish's Dura-Ace levers are adjusted for shorter reach.

Cavendish's Dura-Ace levers are adjusted for shorter reach.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRM went wireless with its power meters long ago but the team frames are still drilled, though now for Dura-Ace Di2's wiring harness. Cavendish continues to prefer the mechanical version, though.

SRM went wireless with its power meters long ago but the team frames are still drilled, though now for Dura-Ace Di2's wiring harness. Cavendish continues to prefer the mechanical version, though.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cavendish runs PRO's anatomic-bend Vibe 7S bar.

Cavendish runs PRO's anatomic-bend Vibe 7S bar.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 chain runs across the matching 7900 cassette.

A Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 chain runs across the matching 7900 cassette.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A simple chain keeper is a good idea on the Belgian cobbles.

A simple chain keeper is a good idea on the Belgian cobbles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Though Scott's production top-end road frames use its more advanced 'HMX' fiber blend, Cavendish's Classics-special version is built with second-tier HMF - presumably for greater durability.

Though Scott's production top-end road frames use its more advanced 'HMX' fiber blend, Cavendish's Classics-special version is built with second-tier HMF - presumably for greater durability.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRM's latest PowerControl VI computer is colored to match the rest of the team gear.

SRM's latest PowerControl VI computer is colored to match the rest of the team gear.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The matching Addict fork looks standard enough but team mechanics say it has greater tire clearance at the crown.

The matching Addict fork looks standard enough but team mechanics say it has greater tire clearance at the crown.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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HED's 'Flamme Rouge'-edition front hubs feature a carbon fiber center section to shave a few grams.

HED's 'Flamme Rouge'-edition front hubs feature a carbon fiber center section to shave a few grams.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) will race his first Ronde van Vlaanderen aboard a modified Scott Addict.

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) will race his first Ronde van Vlaanderen aboard a modified Scott Addict.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like most pros, Cavendish prefers his stem almost as low as possible.

Like most pros, Cavendish prefers his stem almost as low as possible.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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HED carbon rims are wrapped with 25mm-wide Continental tubulars bolstered by two-ply Vectran breaker belts to provide a little extra cushion and puncture resistance come Sunday.

HED carbon rims are wrapped with 25mm-wide Continental tubulars bolstered by two-ply Vectran breaker belts to provide a little extra cushion and puncture resistance come Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)

HTC-Columbia star sprinter Mark Cavendish will race his first Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday aboard a carbon fiber Scott Addict slightly adjusted to better handle the rough cobbles and often treacherously slick conditions typical of the Belgian spring classic.

Dimensional changes are subtle, amounting to just a few millimeters of additional wheelbase for stability and a touch more tire clearance at either end to accommodate the relatively fat 25mm Continental Pro Limited ProTection tubulars. Subbing in for the usual integrated seatmast is a softer-riding PRO Vibe conventional telescoping carbon post.

In addition, team-only one-piece dropouts with a non-replaceable derailleur hanger are fitted to the rear end and Scott's HMF carbon fiber blend is used instead of the stiffer HMX mix usually used on Cavendish's standard road bike – meaning this one is heavier, but also likely more damage tolerant as well.

Several of the component choices are unique to Cavendish's Flanders bike relative to those of his teammates. For one, he continues to use the standard Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 group instead of the electronic Di2 version used by most of the HTC-Columbia team. According to the team mechanics, Cavendish and the other sprinters on the squad prefer the feel and tactile feedback of the mechanical levers and are thus willing to forego some of the convenient Di2 niceties such as the recently introduced top-mounted remote shifters.

Conditions allowing, Cavendish will also run deep-section HED carbon tubular wheels while most of the other guys will run the Ambrosio box-section aluminum rims typical of the harsher cobbled races.

Other component highlights include aluminum-bodied Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals and the company's prototype carbon-specific brake blocks, the SRM power meter with updated 7900-compatible chainring spider, a fi'zi:k Arione CX Carbon saddle, and familiar finishing kit from PRO with Cavendish's trademark massive Vibe Track stem and anatomic-bend Vibe 7S aluminum bar.

Cav's position has changed slightly from previous seasons, too. While the saddle height and bar positions are virtual matches from the end of last season, the explosive sprinter now sits ever so slightly further forward with a setback decreased from 46mm to 41mm.

Cavendish officially says that he's not in this year's race to win, though he expressed similar sentiment prior to last year's victory at Milano-Sanremo, proving that he's not just a sprinter. If past runnings of De Ronde are any indication, though, stranger things have happened.

Complete bike specifications: