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.
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.
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.
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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.
– By Rob Arnold
(with stories about bikes and racing with Cavendish)
- Mark Renshaw: Story of my bike – 2014 Specialized Venge (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
- Mark Renshaw: Story of my bike – 2010 Scott FO1 (HTC-Columbia)
- Mark Renshaw: Story of my bike – 2011 HTC Highroad team-issue Specialized ‘McLaren’ (HTC-Columbia)