There have been a number of breathtaking performances in the world of professional cycling over the years, but Remco Evenepoel’s exhibition at the 2022 World Championship Road Race in Wollongong is a contender for the top spot. The Belgian prodigy obliterated the field on the rolling Australian roads, winning the race by over two minutes ahead of Christophe Laporte in second place. Plus, that was only a few weeks after the 23-year-old took his maiden Grand Tour victory in the Vuelta a España. Not a bad season, hey?
It’s fair to say that Evenepoel’s results are a dream come true for the many sponsors of his team, Soudal-Quick Step – what better way to advertise your product than see it ridden to victory by one of cycling’s biggest talents? The team’s bike sponsor, Specialized, certainly had its fair share of TV time during Evenepoel’s incredible performances over the past year. To celebrate what Specialized describe as “a season for the ages”, the American brand has released 200 individually numbered framesets that are a replica of the “Remco’s Reign” S-Works Tarmac SL7 frameset that was presented to the Belgian after his victory in Wollongong. It’s described as an “exclusive collectible to honour one of the greatest athletes of our generation.”
The frameset itself is understated but has subtle details that make it a design fit for a World Champion. It features luminescent colours shimmering over a pearl background with a World Champion’s badge on the top tube. This badge is the image of a rising sun that also doubles up as the graphic of a globe which Specialized says is a nod to Evenepoel’s “ascension to legendary status.”
On the seat stay of the frameset lies the phrase “legends are built not born” which is meant to highlight the commitment and sacrifice that athletes have to make to achieve a World Championship victory. Inside the fork leg of the bike is a graphic which is described as a subtle nod to the 10 Elite Men’s World Road Championship victories achieved on Specialized bikes in the last 20 years. Specialized says “This is a record we are immensely proud of and honoured to partner with great riders to achieve.”
“This year, the design direction for the World Champion graphics package was centred around what it takes for an athlete to rise from the pack to become more than just a competitor, but a champion and legend,” explains Specialized Concept Designer Elena Aker.
Paint job aside, the S-Works Tarmac SL7 is said to be a ‘bike to rule them all’, versatile enough to use on the flat, light enough to climb mountains and even able to hold its own in bunch sprints. For Specialized, Evenepoel’s 16 race wins on the Tarmac (including victories in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Classica San Sebastian as well as his World Championship and Grand Tour wins) perfectly exhibit the capabilities of the Tarmac SL7. “When Remco attacks with his Tarmac SL7, man and machine become a singular being, moulding passion and performance in the quest for victory,” the brand stated in a press release.With only 200 of the ‘Remco’s Reign’ framesets released globally – each individually numbered – consumers had to be quick if they wanted to get their hands on one, and have a pretty big budget too. Each frameset retailed for a hefty price of £5000 and, we regret to inform you if you had your eye on one, they seem to already be fully sold out on the Specialized website.