Mathieu van der Poel might be riding an all-white Canyon in 2024 as World Champion, but his teammate's purple Canyon Aeroad is far from a consolation prize. The stunning violet design is simple yet strikingly effective, standing out in the livery of WorldTour bikes. The Aeroad is Canyon's fastest road bike, aerodynamically optimised to slice through the air with as little drag as possible. It's the model that has been ridden by the likes of Van der Poel, Jasper Philipsen and Kaden Groves to a plethora of victories in the Classics and Grand Tours, proving itself as every bit the capable companion to the fast legs of Alpecin-Deceuninck's puncheurs.
The Aeroad CFR was unveiled by Canyon at the end of 2020 as the German brand's lightest ever road bike, described as being "developed for WorldTour wins" – a claim that has certainly been lived up to. The bike was created in conjunction with aerodynamic experts Swiss Side, with every tube reportedly optimised to reduce drag. It's also said to save over 200 grams compared to Canyon's previous flagship model, the CF SLX.
Matching Alpecin's kit, the team's Aeroad is a stunning mix of purple and blue, as Canyon choose to keep things simple, but certainly not boring. The team has been known to make special edition bikes in the past, like to celebrate Van der Poel's Classics campaign and ahead of the Tour de France last July, but this purple bike is the standard team-issue colourway that the majority of riders will use for the season ahead.
These iridescent Elite Custom Race Skin bottle cages are undoubtedly a highlight of the Alpecin-Deceuninck Aeroad, making the bike pop without drawing the eye away from the purple paint.
Alpecin-Deceuninck uses Shimano Dura-Ace components, with the R9200 shifters having improved ergonomics which are said to seriously help with comfort and shifting precision.
The bike features a 3D-printed bike computer to help save weight – a sign that this is a team searching for every marginal gain. Canyon do issue a standard computer mount but the team has made the choice to use a custom mount.
The bike features a Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 Di2 groupset and power meter, with 54/40 front chainrings and a 12-speed cassette – a suitable choice for the relatively flat terrain which was coming up in the stage ahead. The bike also had Shimano Dura-Ace road pedals.The team uses Selle Italia saddles – the model pictured is a Selle Italia Flite Boost Pro Team SuperFLow Kit Carbon Saddle. It features the Italian brand's Superflow technology which aims to drastically reduce all physical limitations caused by prolonged pressure in the perineal area. The saddle is also covered with a technical microfiber cover material to help with durability – something that is especially important for professional riders who spend a huge number of hours on the bike. This Aeroad also featured a glued on number mount to make mechanic's lives easier on race day but also ensure that no extra weight and bulk is added to the bike with zip ties.
The team also uses Selle Italia handlebar tape on Canyon's Aeroad cockpit. This cockpit is unique in that it can changed width between 390 and 430mm, making the bike easier to travel with and adjust on the move. The stem also allows the rider to adjust the bar height without cutting the steerer tube – something that won't be especially useful to pro riders who don't tend to do their own adjustments, but it will make the bike easier to work on for mechanics.
The bike had Shimano Dura-Ace C50 wheels with 28mm Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres. The C50 rims are fairly deep and are a good option for flat stages where there might be a risk of crosswinds. For the flattest, fastest sprint stages, the team has been known to use the deeper C60s.