Despite just 250 bikes being available worldwide, Specialized wasn’t shy about using the world’s biggest bike race to announce the order books were now open for its latest collaboration with McLaren.
One bike was made available for each of the three teams that use Specialized — Astana, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Tinkoff-Saxo — to take to the Tour, but just two made it to the start line in Leeds. Instead, Omega Pharma opted to stick with the standard team colour S-Works Tarmac for their rider Michal Kwiatkowski.
This time around, McLaren’s involvement with Specialized has not been limited to just the carbon lay-up, as it was with the McLaren Venge. McLaren’s engineering wizards have found the time to turn their F1 know-how to the frame, cranks, bars and wheels, too. Sadly for the two riders who got to show off the McLaren during the Tour, Jakob Fuglsang and Nicolas Roche, neither got to make use of the full package, as they had to use the rest of their team sponsors’ components.
The result of McLaren’s specialist input is a claimed weight loss of around 10 per cent over the standard S-Works Tarmac frame. Even the colour-way is special edition ‘Tarmac black’ and ‘Papaya Spark’ colours, along with electroform metal foil graphics, which have all been applied at McLaren’s Special Operations centre in the company’s Woking base.