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Pro Bike: Julian Alaphilippe’s Specialized Tarmac SL6 2018 race bike

A new bike and paint job for Quick-Step Floors this season

Here’s the brand new Specialized Tarmac SL6 race bike belonging to Julian Alaphilippe of the Quick-Step Floors cycling team.

The Tarmac SL6 is an all-new bike or 2018, with loads of improvements over the version the team raced last year. You can read all about the new bike in our comprehensive review of the top-end S-Works model right here.

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It’s pretty much the same bike and equipment setup as the BORA – hansgrohe race bike we showed you the other day, the main difference being the paint job - this year Quick-Step have added a splash of much-needed colour to the bikes.

- 2018 WorldTour race bikes - The complete list of this year's race bikes

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The Quick-Step Floors bikes are equipped with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 11-speed groupset with direct-mount brakes.

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One key difference is the change of power meter sponsor. Previously the team was using the 4iiii dual-sided power meter, it now appears to be using the new Specialized power meter.

Eagle-eyed readers will note the new Specialized power meter (details of which are scarce) looks very similar to the 4iiii. Has there been a design share or licensing of technology going on here to help Specialized join the increasingly competitive power meter market? We’ll have to wait to find out.

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As well as supplying frames, Specialized also supplies the team with wheels, with the company’s shallow Roval CLX32 pictured on this bike. The hubs spin on CeramicSpeed bearings and tyres are new S-Works Turbo Allround 3 Tubular 290TPI design that hasn’t been launched yet.

There’s also a Specialized saddle and seatpost but PRO (Shimano’s component brand) supplies the Vibe stem and handlebar. Supacaz provides the bar tape.

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Other details to note include a K-Edge Garmin mount and chain catcher, Shimano SPD-SL pedals and Tacx bottle cages.

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One thing that we all now professional cyclists like is very long stems, they like a long and low position. Alaphilippe appears to buck this trend with a diddy 101mm stem with a generous 10mm spacer underneath it.

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Apparently, the team likes to call itself the “Wolfpack” and there’s a reminder of it with a #thewolfpack sticker on the inside of the fork legs.

 Photos © BrakeThrough Media

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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