Petacchi’s S-Works Tarmac - 21 Days of Tour Tech

Hyper-aggressive position for the sprint lead-out

Italian Alessandro Petacchi was once an Alpha sprinter in his own right, winning no less than 48 Grand Tour stages from 2000 to 2010. After bowing out of this role at the end of 2012, he joined Omega Pharma-Quick Step for 2014 as a lead-out man for Mark Cavendish. Even among a field of flexible, aero-minded pros, Petacchi’s bike stands out for its extreme set-up.

Standing 6ft / 1.84m, the lanky Italian has his bikes set up almost like track machines, with a huge amount of saddle-to-handlebar drop (14cm) and reach (62.5cm), plus very narrow 40cm handlebars and a 140mm stem.

As with the rest of his teammates, he can choose any Zipp wheels he likes, often preferring to go with the 303 tubulars.

Interestingly, despite having the Venge aero bike as an option, Petacchi prefers the Tarmac.

We weighed the bike pictured here at 7.25kg / 15.98lb, in no danger of violating the UCI minimum weight rule. As befits a former sprinter, Petacchi is more concerned with just getting over the mountains than winning atop them. His SRAM WiFli Mid Cage derailleur is ready to handle a cassette with as low a gear as 32t. The bike shown here has an 11-28 cassette.

Scroll through the photo gallery above for a closer look, and read the particulars of his component selection below.

Petacchi rides low on stage 3 of the 2014 tour de france: petacchi rides low on stage 3 of the 2014 tour de france
Petacchi rides low on stage 3 of the 2014 tour de france: petacchi rides low on stage 3 of the 2014 tour de france

Petacchi leads his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammates on stage 3 of the 2014 Tour de France

Complete bike specifications

  • Frameset: Specialized S-Works Tarmac
  • Stem: Zipp SL Sprinter, 140mm
  • Handlebars: Zipp SLC2, 40cm
  • Brakes: SRAM Red 22
  • Shift/brake levers: SRAM Red 22
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red 22
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Red 22 WiFli Mid Cage
  • Cassette: SRAM X-Glide 1190, 11-28t
  • Chain: SRAM Red 22
  • Crankset: S-Works cranks with SRAM 53/39t aero rings
  • Power meter: Quarq
  • Pedals: Look Keo
  • Wheels: Zipp 303 tubulars
  • Tyres: Specialized AllRound tubulars
  • Saddle: S-Works Romin
  • Seatpost: Zipp Service Course SL, 20mm
  • Weight: 7.25kg / 15.98lb

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 1.84m / 6ft
  • Reach, saddle tip to bar: 62.5cm
  • Drop, saddle top to handlebar top: 14cm
  • Saddle height: 79cm
  • Stem length: 140mm

The new specialized s-works tarmac has a svelte seatpost clamp. petacchi's number holder was empty when we shot the bike: the new specialized s-works tarmac has a svelte seatpost clamp. petacchi's number holder was empty when we shot the bike
The new specialized s-works tarmac has a svelte seatpost clamp. petacchi's number holder was empty when we shot the bike: the new specialized s-works tarmac has a svelte seatpost clamp. petacchi's number holder was empty when we shot the bike

The new Specialized S-Works Tarmac features a svelte seatpost collar design

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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