Julian Alaphilippe and the rest of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ‘Wolfpack’ are preparing to race the gravel roads of Italy in Saturday’s Strade Bianche, and the team has put on unmarked tubeless tires for the day.
Alaphilippe and Quick-Step have been racing on clinchers since late 2020, when he took a notable stage win at the Tour de France on the tubed tires. (Until the last couple of years, pro riders raced almost exclusively on tubular tires.)
Alaphilippe’s bike is equipped with a set of unreleased tubeless tires that are only labeled S-Works.
Specialized declined to comment on the new tire, which has a different sidewall than the current S-Works Turbo RapidAir 2Bliss Ready model.
In response to my questions, a Specialized employee only responded with this: 😉
We’ll report back when we learn more. In the meantime, take a look at Alaphilppe’s bike for Strade Bianche.
Julian Alaphilippe and the Quick-Step team race on Specialized and Shimano, tip to tail.
The two-time world champion is a favorite for the white roads of Italy on Saturday.
Wait, what is this new tubeless tire?
The tread looks like that of the current S-Works Turbo tires, but the sidewall is different. Is the rubber compound also new? Specialized isn’t talking yet.
The wheels are Specialized’s Roval Terra CLX.
Alaphilippe’s #2 bike is no beat-up back-up bike, but a perfect replica of his #1 steed.
In contrast to the en vogue fully integrated bar/stems on many pro bikes, Specialized’s integrated Tarmac stem still allows for the use of any handlebar.
Alaphilippe has a full Dura-Ace 9250 group, including the power meter. Many WorldTour pros, including some of his teammates, still have 9150 power meters on their otherwise-9250 bikes.
9250 is 12-speed and 9150 is 11-speed, but the cranks are compatible on the Di2 groups.
Alaphilippe has 54/40 rings on his 172.5mm cranks.