The demanding roads of Flanders require bikes that can glide over the cobbles. An ultra-stiff frame with supreme handling and aerodynamic advantages is a must, and race winner Lotte Kopecky’s Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 certainly fits this bill. Just a few days before the Belgian superstar went on to take a historic victory in De Ronde, we joined Team SD Worx on their pre-race recon and got a closer look at their weapon of choice for Flanders’ Finest.
One of the most striking things about this bike – which TV pictures don't always do justice – is the two-tone purple fade paint job. In spring Belgian sunshine (which admittedly there wasn’t much of on race day), the colours pop, but the fade to black means the bike remains understated. The bike was race-ready with a number mount on the saddle, and the latex tube on the fork is a solution for adding a transponder on the day of the race.
Kopecky’s bike featured a SRAM Red 12-speed wireless groupset, meaning there was no need for a junction box. It was 50/37 tooth chainrings for the Belgian champ with a 10/33 cassette, allowing for small jumps between while still offering wide-range for the steep bergs that are so frequent in De Ronde.
The team were all riding Zipp 303 Firecrest tubulars, a lightweight, all-rounder wheelset. S-Works Turbo Hell of the North tyres in 28mm were the rubbers of choice for Kopecky. The tyres are known to be especially puncture resistant and grippy in wet weather conditions. While the wider width allows extra protection from debris in the road, S-Works Turbo tyres also roll at a high speed.
Under the sponsorship of Zipp for this season, SD Worx also used Zipp handlebars with Kopecky riding the SL80’s. The Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders winner rode with her hoods high and facing slightly inwards. Also part the Zipp family, Kopecky used Time XPRO 15 pedals.
The team raced with Amy Pieters in their hearts and minds. The Dutch national champion remains in a coma following a crash on a training camp at the end of 2021.