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Pro bike: Philippe Gilbert's Omega-Pharma Lotto Canyon Aeroad CF

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Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has been using Canyon's new Aeroad CF model at the team training camp on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has been using Canyon's new Aeroad CF model at the team training camp on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Flip the bike around and you'll find blue-green instead of red accents.

Flip the bike around and you'll find blue-green instead of red accents.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has three targets on this year's race calendar: Milan-San Remo, the spring classics, and the Tour de France.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has three targets on this year's race calendar: Milan-San Remo, the spring classics, and the Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Canyon's VCLS Aero Post is suprisingly flexy and offers real benefits to rider comfort.

Canyon's VCLS Aero Post is suprisingly flexy and offers real benefits to rider comfort.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear derailleur cable is safely tucked away inside the driveside chain stay.

The rear derailleur cable is safely tucked away inside the driveside chain stay.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo's Record 11 rear derailleur uses aluminum knuckles instead of the carbon ones on the Super Record model.

Campagnolo's Record 11 rear derailleur uses aluminum knuckles instead of the carbon ones on the Super Record model.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Continental's Competition Pro Limited Allround tubulars are a popular choice in the professional ranks.

Continental's Competition Pro Limited Allround tubulars are a popular choice in the professional ranks.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A custom chain watcher helps ensure nothing goes awry with the Campagnolo Record 11 drivetrain.

A custom chain watcher helps ensure nothing goes awry with the Campagnolo Record 11 drivetrain.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Canyon Aeroblade SL fork features interchangeable 'chips' in the dropouts that allow for tunable trail and handling characteristics. Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) looks to have chosen the more stable-handling option here.

The Canyon Aeroblade SL fork features interchangeable 'chips' in the dropouts that allow for tunable trail and handling characteristics. Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) looks to have chosen the more stable-handling option here.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Canyon doesn't sell its bikes and frames in shops, preferring instead to go consumer-direct.

Canyon doesn't sell its bikes and frames in shops, preferring instead to go consumer-direct.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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While Canyon has gone to great efforts to reduce the Aeroad's frontal area, the chain stays are still massive for good power transmission.

While Canyon has gone to great efforts to reduce the Aeroad's frontal area, the chain stays are still massive for good power transmission.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) looks like he doesn't use the inner ring much…

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) looks like he doesn't use the inner ring much…
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A pair of Tacx Tao aluminum cages sit waiting for bottles.

A pair of Tacx Tao aluminum cages sit waiting for bottles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Headset spacers are definitely not something we're accustomed to seeing on pro riders' Canyon machines.

Headset spacers are definitely not something we're accustomed to seeing on pro riders' Canyon machines.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) prefers a classic-type bend on his Ritchey handlebars.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) prefers a classic-type bend on his Ritchey handlebars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like many pro riders, Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) opts for a fully aluminum cockpit.

Like many pro riders, Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) opts for a fully aluminum cockpit.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Omega-Pharma Lotto team bikes are fitted with Campagnolo's latest Record 11 group.

The Omega-Pharma Lotto team bikes are fitted with Campagnolo's latest Record 11 group.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic's latest Cosmic CC80 carbon tubulars are fitted here but Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) will have a number of different wheel models at his disposal this season.

Mavic's latest Cosmic CC80 carbon tubulars are fitted here but Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) will have a number of different wheel models at his disposal this season.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo has told us that it expected mostly amateurs to go for its recently reintroduced dual-pivot rear brake option but Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has apparently done so as well for additional braking power.

Campagnolo has told us that it expected mostly amateurs to go for its recently reintroduced dual-pivot rear brake option but Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) has apparently done so as well for additional braking power.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The tidy seatpost clamp is neatly integrated into the frame's sleek lines.

The tidy seatpost clamp is neatly integrated into the frame's sleek lines.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) uses Selle Italia's Flite TT Team Edition saddle.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) uses Selle Italia's Flite TT Team Edition saddle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Canyon fits its latest Aeroad CF frame with internal routing throughout.

Canyon fits its latest Aeroad CF frame with internal routing throughout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Mavic Cosmic CC80 wheels are built with stainless steel spokes and external nipples for easier servicing.

The Mavic Cosmic CC80 wheels are built with stainless steel spokes and external nipples for easier servicing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The fork crown blends neatly into the rest of the frame structure.

The fork crown blends neatly into the rest of the frame structure.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Look's latest KeO Blade pedals use carbon fiber leaf springs.

Look's latest KeO Blade pedals use carbon fiber leaf springs.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) will tackle this season's challenges aboard Canyon's latest road model, the Aeroad CF aero. Billed by Canyon as a 'breakaway bike', the Aeroad CF looks to fit the Belgian star's strong suits to a T.

Canyon doesn’t make a big deal of airfoil-shaped tubes or days' worth of wind tunnel testing but has instead concentrated on reducing frontal area and smoothing frame surface transitions relative to the decidedly more massive Ultimate range that Omega-Pharma Lotto has ridden in previous seasons. Everything exposed to the wind has been nipped, tucked, and pinched to reduce aerodynamic drag and Canyon claims frontal area has indeed been reduced by 20 percent.

Nominally aero cross sections are featured at the head tube, down tube, seat stays, and fork blades, cables are routed internally throughout, and even Canyon's trademark 1 1/4"-to-1 1/2" front end has been downsized to a slimmer 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" dimension complete with hourglass profile.

Even so, Canyon has also worked to ensure that Gilbert's new machine still rides well – seeing as how this bike is apt to see a lot of cobbles this year – and it turns out that the Aeroad is even more comfortable than the Ultimate range based on our own test rides. Though it may be faster through the air, the Aeroad is also softer overall with noticeably more flex and give. Additional comfort is provided by the carbon-and-basalt fiber VCLS seatpost.

Continuing the aero theme are Mavic's new Cosmic CC80 wheels, featuring aggressive 80mm-deep carbon tubular rims and bladed stainless steel spokes.

Campagnolo's new Record 11 group isn't billed as aero in any way but recent changes do make an improvement over previous iterations. In addition to being lighter than before, new shift internals offer a more positive and precise-feeling action that's also user tunable, updated chainring profiles and front derailleur cages yield faster shifts, and Campagnolo has reintroduced a dual-pivot variant for the rear brake.

While the company has said it only expected amateur cyclists to opt for the additional rear power, Gilbert's bike is so equipped as well.

Finishing things off are an alloy Ritchey classic-bend bar and forged stem, a Selle Italia Flite Team Edition saddle, Look KéO Blade pedals, Continental tires, an SRM PowerControl 7 computer (which is presumably paired to an SRM power meter for training), and Tacx cages. Total weight as pictured is 6.90kg (15.21lb).

Specifications:

Frame: Canyon Aeroad CF, size M
Fork: Canyon Aeroblade SL, 1 1/8"-to-1 1/4" steerer
Headset: Cane Creek
Stem: Ritchey WCS 4-Axis, 12cm x -6° include length in cm, center-to-center
Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Classic, 42cm (c-c) include width in cm, center-to-center
Tape/grips: Ritchey cork
Front brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton, dual pivot
Rear brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton, dual pivot
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 11s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 11s
Shift levers: Campagnolo Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s
Cassette: Campagnolo Record 11s, 11-25T
Chain: Campagnolo Record 11s
Crankset: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque ST 11s, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque press-fit
Pedals: Look KéO Blade
Wheelset Mavic Cosmic CC80 tubular
Front tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
Rear tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite TT Team Edition
Seat post: Canyon VCLS Aero Post
Bottle cages: Tacx Tao
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7