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Tom Boonen gets custom Specialized Tarmac for the classics

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Boonen's custom Specialized Tarmac for his final spring classics

Boonen's custom Specialized Tarmac for his final spring classics
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen heads to the sign-on podium

Boonen heads to the sign-on podium
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Gold plugs on the bards

Gold plugs on the bards
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Heroes get remembered, but legends never die

Heroes get remembered, but legends never die
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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The front derailleur

The front derailleur
(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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The rear derailleur

The rear derailleur
(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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11-speed sprocket

11-speed sprocket
(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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The drivetrain

The drivetrain
(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)
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The front end

The front end
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Lengthy 177.5mm Dura Ace cranks

Lengthy 177.5mm Dura Ace cranks
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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FSA seatpost with the Specialized saddle

FSA seatpost with the Specialized saddle
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen's personal plaque and race number

Boonen's personal plaque and race number
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Simple but striking gold accents on the white frame

Simple but striking gold accents on the white frame
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen's view

Boonen's view
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen uses a chunky stem

Boonen uses a chunky stem
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen has sprint shift buttons on the drops

Boonen has sprint shift buttons on the drops
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen always uses a Specialized Romin saddle

Boonen always uses a Specialized Romin saddle
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Roval CLX rapide 50mm wheels front an rea

Roval CLX rapide 50mm wheels front an rea
(Image credit: Patrick Fletcher)
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Boonen is back on caliper brakes

Boonen is back on caliper brakes
(Image credit: Brakethrough Media)

Tom Boonen has kicked off his cobbled Classics campaign, and the final couple of weeks of his career, on a new, custom-painted Specialized Tarmac bike, equipped with Shimano's new Dura Ace 9100 groupset. 

The Belgian, who will retire after Paris-Roubaix on April 9, raced on a black Venge Vias earlier in the season, but has switched to a white Tarmac for the spring classics, starting with Milan-San Remo last weekend, E3-Harelbeke on Friday, and Gent-Wevelgem today. The frame is decorated with gold accents, and the back of the seat tube bears the words 'Heroes get remembered, legends never die'.

Boonen has been equipped with the new Shimano Dura Ace 9100-series groupset, though interestingly he is back on traditional rim brakes after hitting the headlines at the start of the season by becoming the first pro to win a road race on disc brakes. He is pairing the rim braking with electronic shifting, meaning the specific groupset he's running is Dura Ace 9150. 

Boonen is likely to keep the bike for his final Tour of Flanders next Sunday, though it remains to be seen if he chooses to go with Specialized's cobble-specific Roubaix frame for some or all of the Hell of the North a few weeks later.

Cyclingnews grabbed some photos of Boonen's striking white and gold bike at the start of Gent-Wevelgem this morning, and you can check it out in the gallery above.