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Mathieu van der Poel's World Championships Canyon Aeroad looks ready to win

Peter Stuart
27 Sep 2019

Van der Poel's Canyon Aeroad sports disc brakes and a 30-tooth rear sprocket, and could well help him win the Worlds

Mathieu van der Poel has seemed unstoppable this season after dominant performances at the Tour of Britain, Amstel Gold Race and Dwars door Vlaanderen, and he's proved far and away the bookie's favourite for this weekend's World Championships Road Race. His bike also fits the bill.

Riding for Canyon-sponsored UCI Continental team Corendon-Circus, it's no surpise to see the dutchan riding a Canyon, however the model and spec are a little intriguing.

Van der Poel has sided for the aerodynamically focussed Canyon Aeroad CF SLX over the lightweight Canyon Ultimate, and even gone for a disc-brake equipped spec, suggesting he is favouring stopping power and all-out speed over excess grams when climbing. 

That's confirmed by the impressively neat front end. Van der Poel has opted for a one-piece bar-stem combo, and complimented it with an aerodynamically optimised integrated garmin-mount.

Looking closer, we spotted a few other intriguing spec choices too.

Wide range

Van der Poel has opted for a wide-ranging 11-30 cassette, against a conventional 53-39 double chainset.

To put that in perspective, though, that offers the same easier gear as a compact (50-34) chainset with a 26 rear sprocket. It suggests that Van der Poel is fully anticipating that steep and challenging ascents could be pivotal in the race.

That's in stark contrast to fellow dutchman Bauke Mollema, who has sided with a single chainring for the race.

Disc brakes

Proving the success of the ever creeping transition to disc brakes, van der Poel has opted for the disc brake equipped option of the Canyon Aeroad.

That's in stark contrast to last year's winner Alejandro Valverde who rode a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX with conventional rim brakes. Given van der Poel's background in cyclocross, it's no wonder that he feels more confident with hydraulic braking systems similar to those used in his other disciplines.

The bike uses Shimano's Dura-Ace hydraulic brakes, and unsurprisingly siding for a pair of 140mm rotors. 

Elsewhere the commitment to Shimano is strong, and van der Poel even uses Shimano's own integrated Dura-Ace power meter system.

The wheels, Shimano's tubular C24 wheelset, is slightly at odds with the aero commitment of the frame, though the wheels still perform well in aerodynamic terms and give a weight benefit on the countless climbs.

The wheels are accompanied by a set of 25mm Continental Grand Prix tubular tyres – a predictably all-round grippy yet fast pair, which will be well-suited to Sunday's potentially unpredictable weather.

We look forward to seeing how van der Poel fares on Sunday, and whether his weapon of choice helps him to become one of the most dominant riders across on and off-road disciplines in history.