Rising US star Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) will tackle his first Ronde van Vlaanderen aboard BMC's GranFondo GF01. Unlike some other companies' dedicated classics bikes, the GF01 doesn't feel particularly cushy when ridden casually. That's just fine in this case as Phinney isn't just out for a Sunday spin. He'll be hitting the cobbles fast and hard, which is exactly what this bike was designed for.
The distinctive-looking GF01 features a number of kinks and bends in its carbon structure that, according to BMC, effectively creates specific regions of flex to help cushion the blow of rough roads. This 'Tuned Compliance Concept' design methodology is most prominent in the flattened, leaf spring-like seat stays but it's also included in the curious bend in the chain stays just ahead of the dropouts and in the fork where it abruptly steps down in girth below the crown.
Further helping matters are the slim 27.2mm seatpost (with lots of exposed shaft), cushy fi'zi:k Aliante VSX saddle, double wrapped 3T Ergosum Team carbon handlebars, and 25mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited PTX tubular tires inflated to a relatively soft 87/94psi front/rear.
That said, Phinney's GF01 also has a bit of a two-faced personality as the enormous down tube, monstrous chain stays, extra-wide PF86 bottom bracket shell, flared seat tube, and meaty 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in tapered head tube are remarkably stiff and yield fantastic pedaling efficiency – a critical feature for such power-intensive events as the spring classics.