German sprinting powerhouse Marcel Kittel is on a mission to add to his eight Tour de France stage victories. To do so he’ll need the help of his Etixx-Quick Step teammates, but for an added boost Specialized produced a custom painted Venge aero road bike. Working directly with Kittel on his preferred colors and aesthetic, the result is a beautiful bike with vicious intentions.
Small details dot the frame, fork, dropouts, saddle and even the cutout on the down tube, there to clear the integrated front brake. While much of Kittel’s bike is what you’d expect to see on any Etixx-Quick Step team bike, with Dura-Ace Di2 and Roval wheels, the bar and stem are noteworthy.
Because the German likes to use the same handlebars on both his Tarmac and Venge race bikes, his ViAS foregoes the normal integrated bar and stem. Instead an unbranded Zipp Sprint SL stem holds his preferred FSA Energy Compact bar.
This does mean that the cables aren't hidden and therefore the bike is a tad slower aerodynamically. Surely, we’ll see if the tradeoff was worth it for Kittle in the opening stages of this year’s Tour de France.