It looks like Specialized has given some of its professional riders their first go on a new Tarmac road bike

What appears to be a new version of the famous Specialized Tarmac has been spotted at stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Bearing the name of Quick-Step Floors’s Dan Martin, we believe this is the new Specialized Tarmac SL6.

Specialized has registered a number of frames with the UCI for 2017, including the Tarmac SL6 and a disc-brake equipped 18. It joins a whole host of new bikes and updated machines this year, including the likes of the Pinarello Dogma F10 and BMC TeamMachine, with more new releases expected from Cérvelo, Merida and Lapierre later this month.

It’ll be interesting to see why Specialized has moved back to the SL name as the previous incarnation of the Tarmac dropped the suffix. Hence there was an SL4 and now an SL6, but no SL5.

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Key changes we can see for the new 2017 Specialized Tarmac is a D-shaped seat post most famously utilised by the likes of BMC, which is said to give a degree of comfort over the standard round seat post.

The rear stay looks completely new and follows more closely to what Specialized has done with the Venge Vias. A lower entry point to the seat tube, and more compact, thinner and flatter chainstays are all presumably designed to aid aerodynamics and rigidity.

Specialized Tarmac

Joining technologies with two different bike ranges? (Photo: Pitt)

Compared to the older Tarmac the fork looks to have been slimmed down overall, while we notice a small spot for the new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Junction box to go within the down tube.

Specialized Tarmac

Future proof the new Specialized Tarmac SL6 to offer Di2 junction box compatibility? (Photo: Pitt)

The new frame is using direct mount brakes here too. With the step up in braking power on the new Shimano Dura-Ace groupset it is interesting to see that Specialized has favoured this option over the more traditional brake set-up.

We expect to see news on the frame being launched soon. Once we have more information you will too.