The final bike from our Tour Down Under coverage of 2016 is from Ettix-Quick Step, a Belgian registered UCI World Tour team. The team was founded way back in 2003 as Quick Step-Davitamon, and featured star riders such as Paolo Bettini, who won back to back UCI World Cup titles in 2003 and 2004, and the Olympics road race Gold medal in 2004. The team typically specialized in classics races such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, but does quite well in the grand tours.
For 2016, Quick-Step, a manufacturer of laminate flooring, co-sponsors the team with Ettix, a Czech manufacturer of supplements and nutrition products. Specialized bikes have sponsored the team for the past few seasons, and use the team’s racing experiences to aid with product development of lines such as the Tarmac and Venge Vias. This 2016 S-Works Tarmac is ridden by David De La Cruz Melgarejo, a Spanish cyclist now into his eighth season as a professional. Check it out…
De La Cruz’s name clearly stands out on the Tarmac’s seatstay, and the brake bolt mounted bracket awaits his assigned race number.
Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group handles the team’s shifting duties, while power measuring is accomplished with the relatively new dual-leg 4iiii system. Standard 53/39 chainrings are fitted to De La Cruz’s bike.
Hidden behind the left side crank arm is the minute sensor for the 4iiii power measurement system.
Fresh back from a training ride and a little dirty, the Shimano Dura-Ace chain rolls over an 11-speed 11-28 Dura-Ace cassette, paired to the company’s electronic Dura-Ace rear derailleur.
Preferring a deeper wheelset than some of his teammates, De La Cruz’s bike had the Specialized Roval CLX 64 tubulars. From Specialized: “The rim of the CLX Tubular system is designed to provide optimum support to the casing of an S-Works Turbo Tubular, creating stability in corners and an ideal contact patch.”
Built with 16 spokes front and 21 rear (radial / two-cross), the CLX 64 features CeramicSpeed, DT Swiss 240 internals, bearings and a weight of 600 grams front / 775 grams rear.
The consumer version of the Roval CLX 64 wheelset includes a pair of the S-Works Turbo tubulars in 24mm. For De La Cruz, his wheels are shod with the team-only 26mm version of the Allround 2 tubular tire.
The Specialized Tarmac eschews complex, aerodynamic integration around the handlebar area, unlike its Venge Vias brethren.
De La Cruz tracks all of his ride stats with Garmin’s 520 computer on a K-Edge mount.
Shimano’s Di2 cable is shrink wrapped with the rear brake cable, providing a clean look before entering into the frame.
De La Cruz’s position isn’t slammed, but that may change as the season progresses. Team mechanics stick with the external Di2 Junction A box slung beneath the FSA OS-99 stem – accessibility is key when mechanics are on the road. CeramicSpeed bearings feature in the headset.
The Tarmac may not be as aerodynamically clean as the Venge Vias, but it is certainly a lot easier to work with – helpful if you make a living as a professional bicycle mechanic.
Externally mounted brakes – Shimano’s 9000 series dual pivot rear brake and K-Edge number plate holder. K-Edge also supplies the chain catcher.
The rear brake cable runs internally along the top tube, and exits cleanly sans extreme angles, and without jutting outward where it can rub the inside of the thigh.
De La Cruz sits atop Specialized’s Romin Evo Pro saddle, which is available to consumers in three different sizes.
No matter the angle the Tarmac is viewed, it looks fast.
David De La Cruz finished the 2016 Tour Down Under in a very respectable 21st place overall, 01:18 down on the overall winner, Simon Gerrans. We wish David the best of luck for the remainder of the 2016 season!
Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.