Rouleur Classic

Pro tools: Alex Dowsett’s Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

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Photographs: Timothy John

A new bike can take some getting used to, unless, that is, you’re a professional cyclist riding in cycling’s elite UCI WorldTour, your employer is Movistar, and your name is Alex Dowsett. In that case, feel free to ride your new machine for the first time at the Tour de Suisse and to descend at speeds peaking at 118kph.
Dowsett smiles at the memory of the not-so-gentle introduction afforded to his Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, the latest machine from the Koblenz-based supplier to Movistar and Katusha, and an offering billed unashamedly as “a bike for the WorldTour”. Having recorded world number one status in the three previous seasons with Philippe Gilbert (2011) and Joaquim Rodriguez (2012, 2013), Canyon combined the strongest facets of its Ultimate CF ‘climbing’ bike and Speedmax CF time trial bike in a bid to top the table for a fourth consecutive season.
It would be churlish to point out that the goal was achieved with their lightweight climbing machine rather than the new aero-profiled road bike. A win’s a win, as they say, and a climber as adept as Dowsett’s Movistar team-mate, Alejandro Valverde, was never likely to choose the heavier, if more aero efficient option.
Not so Dowsett, who displayed the new bike to best advantage on home roads with a brilliant ride into yellow on stage six of the Tour of Britain, two days after being thwarted by a double puncture on what had given every appearance of a stage-winning ride. His aggression in Britain’s national tour earned him the greatest prize in cycle sport: the 1 Combativity Award…
The Commonwealth Games time trial champion recently rolled out in Richmond Park with guests invited by, so while Dowsett snatched a coffee between signing autographs and posing for photographs, we wheeled away the aforesaid steed – now relegated permanently to the status of training bike – to capture these images.

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