Mark Cavendish photographed showing off his new Wilier Filante SLR team bike in Calpe

Manxman testing new team equipment in advance of his Astana debut in mid-February

Mark Cavendish on his Astana Wilier Filante SLR
(Image credit: Wilier)

This week Mark Cavendish has officially been unveiled as an Astana-Qazaqstan rider. We also know that the British national champion is going to start his season at the Tour of Oman in mid-February, a race where in the past he has won two stage across four appearances. 

He will then head to the UAE Tour, where he has one previous stage win in three appearances.

All of which means it's time to start getting to grips with the new equipment he's going to be using - and he's currently in Calpe, Spain with the Kazakh team.

Mark Cavendish on his Astana Wilier Filante SLR

(Image credit: Wilier)

The Wilier Filante SLR, the team's aero bike, has already been drooled over by most of the cycling community when it was revealed, along with the lightweight bike the Wilier 0 SLR a couple of weeks back.

The stunning 'chrome plated graphite' paint schemes are absolutely gorgeous - a contender for the peloton's prettiest bikes in our opinion.

Mark Cavendish on his Astana Wilier Filante SLR

(Image credit: Wilier)

It has to be said it matches the blue Astana kit better than it matches the British national champion's jersey, but Cavendish will certainly stand out - whether or not that's a good thing when he's getting himself into position for the sprint we'll have to wait and see.

In terms of the bike, it's all change from the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 he's been riding most recently. In fact Cavendish, now 37, has spent a surprisingly large proportion of his career on Specialized bikes, from his 2011 World Championship win on a Venge to his two separate stints at Quick Step.

Mark Cavendish on his Astana Wilier Filante SLR

(Image credit: Wilier)

So although the Shimano Dura-Ace 9200 groupset will be familiar to him, everything else is new, including the Prologo Scratch 2 saddle. Last year Cavendish was using the £390 3D-printed S-Works Power with Mirror but he hasn't taken it with him.

Although Astana uses Shimano groupsets it is not one of Shimano's officially sponsored teams, which means it is free to choose other components. The team has used the very desirable Corima wheels for some years now, and the French brand actually is an official sponsor of Astana.

The tan-wall Vittoria Corsa Speed 28mm tyres round off the look of a bike that ticks all the aesthetics boxes. 

Now all Cavendish has to do is win one Tour de France stage to edge ahead of Eddy Merckx to top the list of all-time winners. Easy, right? At the moment he and Merckx are tied on 34. Cavendish didn't ride the Tour in 2022, so will 2023 be the year he finishes off his career with an unforgettable flourish?

Mark Cavendish's Wilier Filante SLR

  • Frame: Wilier Filante SLR Carbon monocoque HUS Mod + Crystal Liquid Polymer
  • Fork: Filante SLR - Carbon monocoque HUS Mod + Crystal Liquid Polymer
  • Handlebar: Filante Bar Integrated Carbon 
  • Seatpost: Filante SLR Carbon, Wilier Custom Made 
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9270 12S 
  • Wheels: Corima 47WS Black 
  • Headset: FSA Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 ST-R9270 
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace BR-R9270 
  • Rotor: Shimano Dura Ace RT-MT900 CENTER LOCK 160 / 140
  • Derailleurs: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 FD-R9250 Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 RD-R9250 
  • Pulley: SLF Motion Speed System 
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura Ace FC-R9200 + Shimano Powermeter 
  • Bottom Bracket: SLF Motion BB86 
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura Ace CS-R9200 12S 
  • Chain: Shimano Dura Ace CN-M9100 12S 
  • Tires: Vittoria Corsa Speed 700x28 
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch 2 
  • Bar Tape: Prologo 
  • Bottle Cage: Tacx 
  • Pedals: Look KEO Blade carbon

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. 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 most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.