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Viewers of the final stage at the 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico had to have a keen eye for detail, a nose for tech, and maybe even a fast finger to click a pause button on their web browser if they wanted to catch a glimpse of the latest time trial bike from Cannondale.
EF Education-Nippo rider Sebastian Langeveld was spotted on an unbranded, blacked-out time trial bike with Vision disc brake wheels, a very slender fork, and a sloping top tube.
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A representative from Cannondale’s parent company would only confirm the bike exists, and would not offer additional details at this time.
“I can confirm it is most definitely a Cannondale but can’t name the model at this time. I will be able to, hopefully in the near future,” said Dorel Sports global media relations manager Massimo Alpian.
While most of the rest of the team were riding on the several-year-old Cannondale SuperSlice with its exposed front rim brake, the new bike ridden by Langeveld looks ready for launch.
EF Education-Nippo’s Stefan Bissegger won the Paris-Nice stage 3 time trial on a Cannondale SuperSlice time trial bike. This bike looks remarkably different from the bike spotted in Italy, under Langeveld.
For starters, Bissegger’s bike was team-issue blue while Langeveld is riding on a blacked-out bike, without Cannondale markings.
Bissegger was on a bike with the front brake caliper and cable exposed to the wind; the bike Langeveld was on featured disc brakes.
The Swiss’ bike had a horizontal top tube, while the bike seen under the Dutchman in Italy looked to have a sloping top tube and also differently shaped seatstay connection points.
The shape of the head tube area on the new, unbadged bike also looked to have been updated when compared against the same area on the bike used at Paris-Nice.
In 2017, EF Education-Nippo (then Cannondale-Drapac) rode a Cannondale equipped with TRP Spyre SLC mechanical disc brakes. This was during a period in which the UCI was evaluating the use of the stopping technology in pro racing.
Earlier this year, Bissegger lit up the roads at the UAE Tour on an familiar Cannondale SuperSlice.
And last year, at the Vuelta a España, Hugh Carthy rode a familiar-looking Cannondale SuperSlice, too.
While a disc-brake option of the Cannondale SuperSlice — introduced four years ago — was previously made available to the EF education-Nippo team, it did not see wide adoption nor regular use.
Any bike we do see from the pink-and-blue squad will almost assuredly be 100 percent UCI complaint; the team was previously fined by the UCI for not registering the colors on its bikes and cycling kit at the Giro d’Italia.