Road Gear

Flanders tech: Cancellara’s Specialized Tarmac SL3

Fabian Cancellara was obviously the strongest man in the Tour of Flanders, and his Specialized Tarmac SL3 was equally up to the task, despite one small technical difficulty.


Fabian Cancellara was obviously the strongest man in the Tour of Flanders, and his Specialized Tarmac SL3 was equally up to the task, despite one small technical difficulty.

“We saw a bad-luck incident with a couple of brake binder assemblies that loosened and allowed (the brake) pads to ride on the rim,” said Alex Wassmann, SRAM’s road sports marketing manager.

Cancellara’s bike set aside and ready to roll. Photo: Zack Vestal

Cancellara quickly switched to his spare bike while repairs were made, then changed back to his race bike and regained contact with the field.

While a broken chain derailed Cancellara’s chances last year, this incident was merely “one of those things that plays on your focus,” said Wassmann. “Fabian recovered and got back to business.”

Teammate Matti Breschel apparently had the same experience, but the team car was not fully aware of his difficulty and his bike change was slower than Cancellara’s. Unfortunately, he seemed to never fully recover his position and poise.

“Matti’s rebound was compounded with a slower bike change,” Wassman said. Nevertheless, Breschel still managed 15th place.

Team staff was on high alert going into Flanders, and access to the contenders’ bikes was limited. But we did get a quick look at the winning machine just an hour before the start in Bruges. Stay tuned for shots of runner-up Tom Boonen’s bike.