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Check out Tejay van Garderen’s rapid Tour de France Cannondale SuperSlice

Van Garderen’s weapon of choice for Sunday’s Tour de France team time trial looks very fast indeed

Peter Stuart
6 Jul 2019

Education First rider Tejay van Garderen will be well equipped for tomorrow's team time trial on his Cannondale SuperSlice time trial bike, with a series of subtle customisations for the rider.

Tomorrow's Tour de France team time trial will be a showcase of some serious tech and an opportunity for major GC contenders to win a few vital seconds early in the race.

Given the flat nature of the stage and the team formations at play, speeds will be very high. So there's no surprise that van Garderen is using a rather chunky 56-tooth chainring.

To put that in perspective, in the 58-11, at a cadence of 100rpm that translates to a speed of 65kmh. A fairly punchy cruising pace but one that we wouldn't be surprised to see tomorrow.

Looking closer at the bike, van Garderen is clearly not favouring comfort over speed, as he's using sandpaper in place of handlebar tape on the handlebars and extensions. That will likely be both to cut down drag at the front end and to improve grip over harsh terrain.

While the commercially available SuperSlice comes with disc brakes, van Garderen has opted for rim brakes. The team has previously used the disc brake model, and perhaps van Garderen is looking for minor gains in aerodynamics and weight in the hillier time trials set to come later in the race.

Perhaps the strangest alteration is the use of a Shimano Ultegra front brake. It's anyone's guess why Education First has not used Shimano's top tier Dura-Ace brakes, but my guess would be that as this is a deviation from the standard frame, Ultegra direct-mount brakes may have been the only model to fit the design.

Van Garderen is using an integrated crankset spider-based Power2Max power meter, which have historically been a favourite option for pairing with Cannondale's SiSL 2 crankset. 

The bike also sports a Vision metron rear disc wheel and a deep-section Vision Metron 81 SL front wheel. He's matched those with Vittoria Corsa Speed 25mm tubular tyres – a mildly wider setup than some of the competition has opted for.

As a GC contender with strong time trial form, we look forward to seeing how van Garderen puts his TT bike to use in the coming weeks.