This is the custom-painted Specialized S-WorksTarmac SL7 that Sam Bennett rode to victory on the Champs-Élysées, winning the Tour de France final stage regarded as the sprinters’ World Championship and underlining his emphatic victory in the green jersey points competition.
The 29-year-old Irishman launched his sprint 350 metres from the line with Peter Sagan, his green jersey rival, on his wheel. But Sagan simply didn’t have the power to come around Bennett, whose main threat in those final metres came from world champion Mads Pedersen on his left.
Bennett becomes the first rider to win on the Champs-Élysées in the green jersey since Mark Cavendish in 2011, as well as only the second rider other than Peter Sagan to win the green jersey competition since then.
To splash Bennett’s achievement on its website bike sponsor Specialized chose the headline ‘Luck of the Irish at Le Tour’, but in reality there was much more to it than just luck: Bennett has been stronger than Sagan in bunch sprints throughout the Tour, and his Deceuninck-Quick-Step team have been ever vigilant, preventing Sagan from stealing intermediate sprint points.
And it’s teamwork that Bennett’s custom Specialized SL7 celebrates, with its slogan ‘Together We Win’ scrawled across the top tube on the drive side. However, with a monumental effort required to actually put the Tour de France on during the second wave of the pandemic the message of unity could just as well be for the professional cycling community as a whole.
Kayla Clarot, the principle concept graphic designer behind Bennett’s bike, suggests 'Together We Win' should also be interpreted as an anti-racism statement: “We wanted this bike to pull in more than just the single jersey colour to exemplify that it’s never just one colour or one human that makes change or helps a person be victorious. The frame’s intent was to convey a sense of peaceful energy and feel like a breath of fresh air. It’s a moment of celebration and we did it together.”
Specialized is making 100 limited editions of the Bennett frame design, which will cost $6,500 with a portion of all proceeds going to the Outride Foundation, an organisation dedicated to proving that cycling benefits your brain. Through research, cycling programs, and grant-giving activities, Outride provides evidenced-based cycling interventions to improve social, emotional, and cognitive health.
For more information visit specialized.com.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor following an MA in online journalism.
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Mercian Classic fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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