Pro bike: Biniam Girmay’s custom green Cube Litening C:68X

The history-making Intermarché-Wanty rider is leading the points classification at the Tour de France, and his aero-bike has been given the full custom treatment in tribute

Biniam Girmay made history on stage three of this year’s Tour de France when he became the first Black African to win a stage in the race's history. The Eritrean won again on the uphill finish into Colombey-les-Deux-Églises – winning in the Tour de France’s green jersey and marking himself as the man to beat in sprints.

But it’s not the first time that Girmay has been called a history maker. In 2022 he won Gent-Wevelgem and followed this up with his first Grand Tour stage at the Giro d’Italia in Jesi.

Thanks to Intermarché-Wanty's long standing partnership with Cube, Girmay has secured his historic wins aboard the Cube Litening Aero C:68X – the German brand’s aero bike. It shares the same platform as the Cube Litening Air C:68X, but with a couple of aero twists.

Biniam Girmay’s Cube Litening C:68X
The differences are in the frame’s tube shaping, with wider tube profiles helping the flow of air as it moves across the bike. At the front end is a larger head tube, not dissimilar in shape to the Specialized Tarmac SL8. It features a neat top cap that is recessed into the head tube, a design often deployed on modern aero bikes. The front end is completed with a bladed fork which is wider than the one on the climbing model.
Biniam Girmay’s Cube Litening C:68X
At the rear, the bike has a deeper and more shaped seat tube which hugs the rear wheel - smoothing air flow as it transitions from the frame to the wheel. In comparison, to the chunky frame, the seat post looks diminutive, although it’s still D-shaped for improved aerodynamics. Other aerodynamic shaping is present where the top tube meets the seat tube.
Cube Litening Aero C:68X
Although hidden behind the Shimano Dura-Ace crankset, the Litening Aero also has an oversized bottom bracket to assist with power transfer when sprinting.
These changes in frame shape will add weight when compared to the Litening Air’s smaller tubing profiles. However the differences appear negligible to Girmay, who was comfortable winning on stage eight’s uphill finish aboard this bike.
Biniam Girmay’s Cube Litening C:68X
As expected, the frame is resplendent in an inky green, as befitting the leader of the green jersey competition. Other green touches include the Prologo bar tape and the green Look Keo pedals.
Cube Litening C68X
The bike is equipped with deep section Streem wheels from Newmen, the in-house equipment brand of Cube bikes. Their mismatched depth of 66mm on the rear and 60mm on the front compliments the aero profile of the frame. Noticeably these wheels have no valve on show. That's because the valve sits inside the rim for another small aero gain, and team mechanics have to use a proprietary tool to access the valve and inflate the tyres.
Biniam Girmay’s Cube Litening C:68X
These are shod with Continental’s GP5000 TT tyres. Intermarche-Wanty use Shimano’s 12-speed Dura-Ace groupset throughout, with Girmay opting for a 56-44t chainring on the flat stages. The bike is finished with a Prologo saddle and a Bryton cycling computer.
Biniam Girmay’s Cube Litening C:68X
Stage 10 will offer Girmay his next stage win opportunity, although its flat profile may benefit those such as Jasper Phillipsen and Dylan Groenewegen with their more explosive power output. Girmay’s strength lies in his versatility, which will benefit him as he seeks to continue his hold over the green jersey category. 

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