Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) ended his hugely successful season at the recent Abu Dhabi Tour, racing on his special gold BMC Teammachine SLR01 bike given to him to celebrate winning the gold medal in the men's road race at the Rio Olympics.
International Olympic Committee rules do not allow athletes to wear the Olympic rings as a sign of success and so BMC and Van Avermaet have gone for a gold bike and gold touches to the Belgian's jersey on the sleeves, collar and around the BMC logo. However, the colours of the Olympic rings have also been painted on the side of the top tube. Van Avermaet was also sorting some metallic gold Oakley sunglasses.
We studied the bike before the start of a stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi Tour, before Van Avermaet went on the attack for the final time of the 2016 season. He used the same bike to win the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal race in Canada and in the UCI Road World Championships in Qatar, where he placed 10th.
The chunky but solid tube shapes had collected a few flies during the high-speed transfer to the stage start but still the gold finish shone brightly in the sun. Van Avermaet raced with number 11 during the Abu Dhabi Tour. On this occasion, his bike was also fitted with the Velon data unit under the saddle that produced live data during the race.
The BMC Teammachine is a standard team issued bike, fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain and Shimano C35 wheels fitted with Continental Pro ltd tyres. It has a black 3T ARX 120mm stem and Ergonova bars. Fizik has supplied a custom Antares Saddle while there is a gold PC8 head unit courtesy of SRM.
Cyclingnews understands Van Avermaet will use a similar gold bike in 2017 and possibly for the four years he remains as Olympic road race champion.