This weekend 22-year-old Belgian, Remco Evenepoel won his first Grand Tour, after riding into red early on the 6th stage of this year’s La Vuelta a España in the mountains. Holding off all challengers for another two weeks aboard his Specialized S-W0rks Tarmac SL7, the young rider showed how perennial Classics powerhouse Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl can morph into a proper stage race squad these days too. And while many Grand Tour-winning bikes get tricked out with custom bits and prototype gear, Remco’s Tarmac is pretty close to stock, beyond its bright red race leader paint job…
S-Works Tarmac SL7 of Vuelta winner Remco Evenepoel
Much like Scott Sparks under Nino & Kate, the Specialized Tarmac SL7 is a pretty regular of our pro bike features… between Julian Alaphilippe in rainbows, Mark Cavendish in green, and just Peter Sagan being flashy no matter what.
But even though the SL7 has been racing for three full seasons now, it’s still consistently at the front of the peloton and often on top of the podium…
But 2022 Vuelta winner Remco Evenepoel’s S-Works Tarmac SL7 of Vuelta looks even more stock than most, albeit with a unique paint job in red to celebrate him riding into Madrid in La Roja – the race leader’s red jersey.
The stock Tarmac gets a dark red tint fade to satin black bottom bracket & stays, while Evenepoel’s bike is all bright red.
Although, for some reason, his bike actually has the front of its headtube and the top of its fork crown air bushed black too. Any ideas why?
Custom pro build
Evenepoel’s Tarmac is built up pretty close to what you might pick up from your local Specialized bike shop, assuming you have the $14,250 / 14,500€ budget it takes to get the top S-Works Tarmac SL7 – Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 model. It gets a complete 12-speed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and full internal routing – with just a hint of brake lines passing from the bar into the lower cover of the stem, and barely a hint of wire peeking out along the hanger at the rear derailleur.
Some other noticeable differences include a rare 3D-printed Mirror-tech saddle that isn’t black. Of course, Evenepoel’s S-Works Power Mirror saddle gets a red top, but it also looks to be smoother than what we are used to with the regular honeycomb surface texture.
That saddle sits on top of a 0mm offset S-Works Tarmac Carbon seatpost, which appears to get an even slimmer Di2 junction box cover at its rear, plus an integrated race number bracket.
Evenepoel’s bike gets finished off with the standard 21mm internal Roval Rapide CLX wheels just with matching red decals – and now tubeless-ready – wrapped in 26mm blackwall S-Works Turbo RapidAir tubeless tires.
While the stock bike gets a 4iiii power meter, while Evenepoel sticks with the integrated Dura-Ace power meter crankset.
His cockpit is close to stock. He races a standard S-Works stem although it gets a pro-only steerer cover that is quicker for the mechanics to adjust thanks to a more conventional top cap, plus a direct faceplate mount K-Edge computer mount. But Evenepoel rides a PRO Vibe Aero SL handlebar instead of the S-Works bar.
Of course, another subtle difference is pro-level gearing. Evenepoel raced La Vuelta with a 54/40T crankset, but with the wider 11-34T cassette to conquer the mountain climbs.
Finishing it all off, there are a couple of simple but proven Tacx plastic bottle cages, Supacaz Super Sticky black to red Kush Star Fade bar tape, R9100 Dura-Ace pedals, and a set of 140mm IceTech Freeza centerlock XTR mountain bike brake rotors (not the similar newer Dura-Ace rotors).