Take a quick look at the bike Mark Cavendish raced at the end of the 2022 season. He explained that it was “my training bike” and it’s clear in the gallery below that he spent many hours on it while riding out his time with the Quickstep-Alpha Vinyl team…


– A video and gallery by Rob Arnold



One of Mark Cavendish’s final race appearances in the Quickstep-Alpha Vinyl team colours was in the end-of-season Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium.

The Manxman joined other stars of the pro peloton for a weekend which showcased cycling in Singapore late in October 2022 and put on a good show for the locals.

We can expect that the best sprinter of his generation will reveal his team for next season soon… but what we do know for now is that he will no longer race with the so-called ‘Wolfpack’ after 2022.

Cav’s Specialized Tarmac training bike from the end of the 2022 season… complete with the #Wolfpack graphic on the top tube.

At 37 he has nothing left to prove. You know his story: he’s won 34 stages of the Tour de France, a world championship title and a long list of other races. But that’s not the point of this feature. Instead of considering his results or what is yet to come in a career that seems far from over, this is a gallery of the bike he raced at the end of the year.

For the trip to Singapore, he took along his “training bike” – and there is evidence of the many miles he’s spent on this Specialized Tarmac with Shimano Dura-Ace. The tyres are well worn, the cranks are scuffed, the fork steerer doesn’t seem to be cut to his optimal length… but I think it is still interesting to document the last bike he used while a member of the Belgian-registered team that he was part of for the last two years.

Clear evidence of a couple of things: 1. Cav’s preference for having his cleats set up so that he’s about as close to the cranks as possible (note how the scuff marks have buffed the dark finish back to raw aluminium). And 2. He has spent many hours riding this bike even if it was larger for training rather than racing…

This is a quick look at a bike used one of cycling’s most celebrated riders. It hasn’t been cleaned by a team mechanic or meticulously maintained like bikes featured in many galleries by RIDE Media in the past. Still, it is a Cavendish original and that makes it something of value in my appraisal.

Although Cavendish has had a long history with Specialized, he told me in Singapore that he doesn’t have an on-going  personal deal with the brand. That said, he has also been quite open about his love of the bikes made by this company which he has raced on with a number of his teams over the years.Cavendish’s history with Specialized bikes is a long one that began in 2011 when the company came on board as the bike supplier for HTC-Highroad. That was, of course, the season when he won the world championship title in Copenhagen, beating his Australian team-mate at the time, Matt Goss, with a brilliant sprint finish.

After that initial dalliance with Specialized, the relationship with the brand resumed again (after a year on Pinarello bikes while racing with Sky Pro Cycling) in 2013 when he joined the Wolfpack for the first time back when the team was called Omega Pharma-Quickstep.


Below: the evolution of Specialized bikes raced by various iterations of the Quickstep teams from 2011 through to 2020 – a post on @ridemediaHQ during the TDF of 2020.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by RIDE Media (@ridemediahq)

For three consecutive years – from 2013 through to the end of 2015 – Cav raced on Specialized bikes before the move from Etixx-Quickstep to Team Dimension Data (with Cervélo as the bike supplier).

After three seasons on Cervélo there was a one-year stint on Merida bikes when he joined his long-time associate Rod Ellingworth for the interrupted 2020 campaign with Bahrain-McLaren. He only had 37 race days that year, skipping the TDF and a host of other races which would normally have been part of his program while his competitive form was dramatically hindered by the Epstein-Barr virus.

Then, in 2021 and 2022 he was back with the Wolfpack and back racing on Specialized bikes.

In the dim lighting of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Singapore, Cav’s training bike almost looks like a polished race machine… closer inspection, however, reveals that this is indeed a bike that was well used for many a training ride.

A long stem, aero handlebars and a fork steerer that hasn’t been trimmed so that the top cap sits flush with the stem.

Shimano’s ‘Remote Sprint Shifter’ trigger has been fitted to the right side of his handlebars.

The Shimano levers on Cav’s bike have been adjusted so that the reach is closer…

Another angle of the long stem which also shows the mount for the Garmin cycle computer used by Quickstep-Alpha Vinyl in 2022.

Specialized’s ‘Mirror Saddle’ is the seat of choice. In Australia (in November 2022) these retail for AUD$690.

The tape is wrapped neatly but the flattened top of the handlebars is left bare.

Not a great deal of wear on the front rotor, suggesting that the front brake is used sparingly.

Again you can see where Mark’s shoes brush the side of the 170mm cranks, giving them a glossy finish…

The bike in action in Singapore… Cavendish follows the lead of Rohan Dennis, Jonas Vingegaard and Sepp Kuss.

Relaxing in Singapore before joining Chris Froome, Jonas Vingegaard, Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde for a trishaw ride.

Answering Ant McCrossan’s questions in a pre-ride interview.

A quick sip of coffee – Singapore style – before the trishaw ride.


– By Rob Arnold



Related links

(with stories about bikes and racing with Cavendish)





More from RIDE Media on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.