Probably no single cyclist has more experience across the range of Canyon bikes than Mathieu van der Poel. And not just road bikes. He’s raced everything from MTB cross country in the Olympics to the cyclocross world championships on the German brand’s bikes.
When it comes to the road and more specifically the Tour de France — where he’s currently competing in his second edition — one bike has become a go-to.
Despite having the Ultimate all-round race bike available too, Van der Poel more often than not reaches for his Aeroad CFR (which, as the name implies, is an aero-optimized frame). And it’s no standard team-issue model. The Dutchman gets to ride around on a frame painted just for him, complete with personalized components.
We got a closer look at it before stage 5 as it was set up for the cobblestone sectors of northern France.
Van der Poel’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team uses Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 12-speed drivetrains. For the flat terrain of the stage 5 cobbles, Van der Poel opted for a 54/40T power meter crankset. He also used mid-depth Dura-Ace C50 wheels.
Yes, that’s a raised head badge of MVDP’s initials. And yes, we’d gladly welcome the return of cool head badges to race bikes.
Van der Poel’s red bike stands out from his teammates’ white and blue painted versions.
Van der Poel gets the first number in his team’s series of race numbers, signifying his leadership status.
His stage-win from last season is also commemorated by the small medal symbol with a 1 inside it. All stage winners get this distinction with a corresponding number of stage wins on their race numbers.
The custom gear extends beyond the frame to a saddle from Selle Italia.
In case you didn’t know from the initials on the back that this saddle was a special version, the front spells it out more clearly.
The Aeroad CFR is light, allowing Van der Poel’s team to build it up at a weight that approaches the UCI limit, making it a practical option across a variety of stage types.
Canyon built in a number of unique features to the latest Aeroad, including handlebars that fold inward for easy travel. It’s not something the pros will really ever need to take advantage of, but it’s nice for the rest of us.
Canyon provides a one piece bar-stem for the Aeroad. Van der Poel had notes about feed zones taped to his stem.
Selle Italia also provides the bar tape.
Vittoria Corsa tires are a speedy option.