There are few better adverts for a brand than seeing your bike ridden by Mathieu van der Poel to victories in the world’s biggest races. Van der Poel’s stinging attacks and aggressive racing style have become synonymous with the Canyon Aeroad and the Dutchman has also been crucial to the development process in creating the new generation model of the bike. This is widely known due to the fact Van der Poel had been using an unreleased Aeroad since last winter which Canyon has admitted is was prototype that they have been working on with the Paris-Roubaix winner. It was quietly added to the Canyon website recently, though, with very little fuss made about the change compared to the previous iteration of the bike.
At this year’s Tour de France, Van der Poel is riding a personalised, custom-painted all white frame which undeniably stands out in the peloton. The Dutch rider has already led Jasper Philipsen to victory in the first sprint stage of the race aboard his Aeroad, with plenty of chances still to come for Van der Poel to get a victory himself, too.
While there are no huge differences between the older generation Aeroad and the model that Van der Poel has been using, the main giveaway is the changed location of the seat post wedge bolt on Van der Poel’s bike. The junction between the top tube and the seat tube is now more of a sloped shape inside of the junction to create space for the seat post wedge while the angle is much sharper on the current model where the bolt sits on the rear of the bike.
Geometry-wise, Van der Poel’s Aeroad is similar to the current version that is so popular among both professional and amateur riders alike. It features a short chainstay length and wide tubing, as well as the adjustable-width handlebar which can also be adjusted by height without having to dismantle the handlebars. The seat post flexes inside the frame with the aim of improving comfort – likely why Van der Poel chose this bike to ride Paris-Roubaix earlier this season.
Van der Poel’s position is low and aggressive with his handlebars slammed down, though his hoods are notably straight and not turned in, a change from the trend seen regularly in today's WorldTour peloton. His bike has a Forward AM I Canyon 3D-Print Mount to hold his Wahoo head unit, a piece of kit that Canyon says has been extensively tested by the pros on the cobbles to ensure it holds the computer securely.
He is riding a size large frame painted white especially for the 2023 Tour de France. Van der Poel is known to be a fan of white kit, reportedly asking his team for an all-white helmet and never wearing anything other than white shoes and socks. The bike is adorned with logos from his sponsors, including Zwift and a Shimano logo celebrating 50 years of Dura-Ace.
Van der Poel’s Aeroad was equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with front chainrings of 54T and 40T respectively. Van der Poel reportedly only had 30 teeth on his biggest cog for the opening two stages of this year's race, a particularly unique option with 34T being much more common in today’s peloton.
The bike featured Dura-Ace C50 wheels which Shimano says provide “the perfect blend of low weight and aerodynamic performance”. The full-carbon rims are 50mm deep with a 21mm internal width and a 28mm external width. The wheels are fitted with recently released 28c tan wall Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres.
The bike we photographed didn’t have a race number mount and the name label read ‘Mathieu van der Poel B’ which indicates that this was Van der Poel’s spare bike.
Van der Poel uses his own special edition Selle Italia FLITE Boost MVDP Carbonio Superflow Saddle. It features a fibra-tek cover, carbon fibre rails and Mathieu Van der Poel signature graphics.