Mark Cavendish goes hydraulic at the Tour de France
Mark Cavendish's Specialized Venge, Tour de France 2013
Ready for the rollout of the 2013 Tour de France Grand Depart, Mark Cavendish has had his Specialized Venge team bike updated with some fresh SRAM goodies in the shape of the HydroR stoppers from SRAM's special projects department - BlackBox.
SRAM launched its new hydraulic brakes to the world's media in April. The Manx Missile was given a new bike equipped with the latest Hydraulic Road Rim (HRR) brake set up to trial in the week of the national champs with the expectation that he'd race them later in the year once he'd got used to the additional stopping power. Cav liked them so much that he wanted to be the first to race them, and as soon as possible, which meant getting the brakes on his bike ready for the Tour.
The problem was that his demo set-up was the new 11-speed version, but with the rest of the team on 10 speed and every wheel in the team truck also 10 speed there was no way he could race 11 speed.
Such is Cavendish's status that SRAM went to town and pulled out all of the stops to create a special 10-speed version, straight from the BlackBox initiative.
Built into his SRAM Red 10-speed drivetrain, Mark will be hoping that HydroR gives him the edge in the Corsican stages as he bids to take the yellow jersey.
Photo: Graham Watson