Having stormed to victory on stage two of the 2021 Tour de France, taking the yellow jersey in the process, Mathieu van der Poel has received a custom-painted yellow Canyon Aeroad CFR to mark his achievement.
Yellow bikes have become something of a tradition at the Tour with the overall champion often riding a custom steed into Paris on the final stage (here’s Tadej Pogačar’s yellow Colnago V3Rs from the finale of the 2020 Tour.
However, we don’t always see a custom-painted bike being ridden by the race leader during the race itself, so van der Poel’s bike getting the full treatment after only two stages comes as a bit of a surprise.
But it is a welcome one, nonetheless, and matches up very nicely indeed with van der Poel’s maillot jaune and yellow Oakley Sutro sunglasses.
Mathieu van der Poel’s custom yellow Canyon Aeroad CFR in detail
The bike is equipped with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 groupset, deep-section Dura-Ace C65 wheels wrapped in Vittoria Corsa Speed tyres (complete with tan sidewalls), and a Selle Italia Flite Boost saddle.
Bar variations on wheel depth for any given stage and personal saddle choice, it’s the spec used by the whole Alpecin-Fenix team on their Tour de France bikes.
The bike has the new one-piece cockpit fixed by Canyon after van der Poel’s CP0018 Aerocockpit snapped in a race earlier this year.
After the breakage, Alpecin-Fenix switched to externally routed handlebars, but the new design means van der Poel has returned to fully internal routing.
Dedicated to his grandfather
Van der Poel’s custom bike isn’t just a flash affair to celebrate his yellow jersey – it’s a touching tribute, too.
The bike includes a dedication to Mathieu van der Poel’s grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, who died in November 2019. Poulidor completed 14 Tours de France on the Mercier Team.
Loved by French fans, Poulidor was nicknamed “Pou Pou”, and on the underside of the down tube, van der Poel’s bike reads:
“Allez Pou Pou. 14 Tours, 7 stage wins, 3 second and 5 third steps. Yellow was not meant to be until now. Allez Mathieu.”
The tribute references the fact that, despite coming so close on many occasions, Poulidor never wore the yellow jersey.
Now van der Poel has done just that on his debut Tour de France.